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Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Daniels: Nelson Cruz doesn't owe club


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Some Texas Rangers fans may feel like outfielder Nelson Cruz owes the franchise after he missed 50 games last season for a club that sorely missed his offensive production. Cruz returned for Game 163, but didn't have a hit as the Rangers' season ended earlier than they expected.

But general manager Jon Daniels does not share that opinion.

"He had a decision to make," Daniels said late Tuesday afternoon. "I think one of the byproducts of that decision was that it impacted the club. There’s no two ways around that. But we all understood the position he was in. I can’t speak for everybody, but I don’t view it that way. I don’t think he owes us.

"I think he likes being here. He may factor that in. It’s been an overall positive relationship over the years. I don’t think one side owes the other."

Daniels said there was "nothing new" to report on Cruz. The club met with Adam Katz, Cruz's agent, on Monday and communication lines are still open. Sources indicated earlier Tuesday that the price for Shin-Soo Choo was at a level that was higher than the Rangers wanted to pay and that the club was leaning toward Cruz at this point. But the question is whether the two sides can agree on a deal that makes sense.

Daniels and his staff continue to survey the market to see what is out there and if it fits with the club.

“There are good players out there, but do we want to pay what it would cost in contract or young players?” Daniels said. “Does it make sense for us right now? There are a few select guys we’re still keeping tabs on. But we’re not involved with as many of the big names as we’re rumored to be.”

Other notes:

* Daniels said he met with some teams and agents Tuesday, but had nothing specific to report.

* The Rangers may add some depth to the bullpen, but Daniels said they aren’t really involved in bullpen additions. “If anything, we’ve fielded calls on our guys,” Daniels said.

* Tanner Scheppers is preparing as if he’ll start. “He’s interested in starting, but he’s also interested in closing,” Daniels said. “We know he’s pretty dominant in the eighth inning.” It’s more likely Robbie Ross starts in spring training than Scheppers.

* Daniels said they won't just bring an outfielder in as a "safety net" for Michael Choice, but said there's a "good chance" they'd bring in a veteran guy if he fits with the club.

* Daniels said just because the team may have missed on some injured players in the past, they're not hesitant to do it again. Daniels mentioned Milton Bradley and Eric Gagne were successes on that front and he believes Joakim Soria will be as well. He also noted that Lance Berkman and Brandon Webb were not. "When you take those kinds of chances, you know there's added risk involved," Daniels said. "But we're not afraid to go down that path again. You go in knowing you have a chance to miss, but you hit pretty big when you get an impact player on a small deal like that."

* Daniels and manager Ron Washington will attend a Wednesday morning presentation by MLB regarding replay and how everything will work.