During the offseason last year the Texas Rangers and outfielder Nelson Cruz parted ways. It was very apparent that a deal wasn’t going to be worked out once Jon Daniels announced they had signed free-agent Shin-Soo Choo.
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The Rangers did make Cruz an qualifying offer for 14.5 MM, but he turned it down and apparently talks about a multi-year contract never could be agreed upon. That meant Cruz was open to sign with any team and it looked for awhile was he going to sign with the Seattle Mariners. During the offseason rumors starting picking up and it looked like a deal was just about to get done, but things stalled.
Now we know why. Apparently the Mariners did in fact have a deal in place, according to reports, last year. The deal would have signed Nelson Cruz through the 2014 season for $7.5 million and included an option for 2015 at $9.0 million. But when it came down to making the deal happen the Seattle Mariners ownership rejected the deal. That lead to Cruz heading to the Balitmore Orioles on a one year deal for $8.0 million. Making the Orioles look like one of the winners in the offseason by picking up the power hitting outfielder.
Seattle ended up coming up short on their playoff dreams this season, mainly because they were lacking another power hitting to protect Robinson Cano. If Cruz did end up with Seattle they could have been one of the best teams in the division. They might have been able to over come the September slumping Oakland Athletics and with a bit of luck over take the Los Angeles Angels. Though, the Angels were very hot down the stretch and would have been very hard to beat. Right now fans in Seattle are probably pretty upset that their team missed out the playoffs again on a deal that was almost done.
If the Texas Rangers were in a playoff hunt late in the season they would have likely had the same problem. The Rangers also missed the bat of Nelson Cruz this season. Since the Rangers lost Prince Fielder, there wasn’t anyone to back up their lone power hitter Adrian Beltre.
Now that the dust has settled and it’s obvious that Cruz was worth the money and the risk he should have of teams making serious offers for him this offseason. But, right now he’s not too worried about that, he’s focusing on winning a championship.