Tuesday, October 1, 2013
What's next for Nelson Cruz?
By Doug Mittler
Nelson Cruz made a brief and ineffective return Monday night. So has he played his last game for the Texas Rangers?
After serving a 50-game suspension for his part in the Biogenesis saga, Cruz was activated and he went hitless in four at-bats as the designated hitter in the tiebreaker loss to the Rays.
There was lot on the line for Cruz, who had the chance to restore his market value if the Rangers had a long playoff run. The market for free agent outfielders this winter is not particularly strong beyond Shin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury, and Cruz is at the end of his two-year, $16 million deal.
For his part, Cruz said after Monday’s loss that he would like to return to Arlington.
Minus the strong October, teams could be looking to land Cruz as a bargain. One benchmark could be the two-year, $16 million deal Melky Cabrera received from the Toronto Blue Jays following his PED suspension. But Cabrera was coming off a far more productive season than Cruz, who hit .266 with a .506 slugging percentage in 2013.
As for possible fits, we suggest the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets, both of whom could use a power bat in right field.