Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Nellie says no.
Word is Nellie wants to test the free agent market. The Rangers would like to keep him and have stayed in contact with his agent. A lot will be determined by whether or not Cruz is actually interested in staying in Texas. A lot will be determined by Cruz and his agent's willingness to keep talking to the Rangers as other teams get involved.
Cruz is considered a top-tier free agent. The only other outfielders in that group are Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Shin-Soo Choo, Curtis Granderson, and Marlon Byrd. If the Rangers can't retain Cruz, they might make a run at one of the others in the group. Ellsbury is the only one who really stands out to me as a possibly good signing. Choo and Byrd have defensive limitations. Beltran and Granderson are aging.
As much as I doubt Cruz and his slowly declining defense, it looks like keeping him might be the Rangers best option. The team needs to upgrade its offensive capability. Obviously Cruz wouldn't be an upgrade over himself but keeping him would allow the club to upgrade in another area.