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The baseball offseason has just officially begun, and the Texas Rangers don't plan to waste any time contemplating what to do about Nelson Cruz's contract. General manager Jon Daniels confirmed Wednesday night that the club will make a qualifying offer to the slugger.
Cruz, 33, would have 12 days to decide whether to accept the $14.1 million offer for 2014. It's more likely he will reject it in the hopes of signing a multiyear contract. Even if he declines the option, the Rangers will have the opportunity -- like any other team -- to negotiate with him. If Cruz rejects the offer and signs with another team, the club will get draft pick compensation.
Cruz missed the final 50 games of the regular season as he served a suspension for being linked to the South Florida-based Biogenesis clinic. He was leading the club in home runs and RBIs when the suspension was handed down. He was reinstated for the American League wild-card tiebreaker game, which Texas lost 5-2 to the Tampa Bay Rays.
One of the club's big needs this offseason is an outfielder with power, and Cruz certainly fits that bill. The Rangers have Leonys Martin penciled into center field and Alex Rios in right for 2014.
Cruz has hit at least 22 homers in each of the past five seasons, and he has had at least 76 RBIs in each of those seasons as well.
The Dallas Morning News earlier reported the club's decision regarding Cruz.