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Choo Out Means Cruz Must Be In

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 17: Nelson Cruz #17 of the Texas Rangers rounds third base after hitting a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on June 17, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    So, it seems the Texas Rangers could be out on free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, according to reports in the Star-Telegram, due to his price just getting too high thanks to his agent, the baseball antichrist, Scott Boras.

    If this is true, it's fine. The Rangers have not been known recently as a team that is going to hand out huge contracts for the sake of playing chase in an arms war, and the AL West seems ripe for one with the Seattle Mariners spending money left and right.

    But, if it's true, the Rangers must make it a priority to re-sign their own free agent, Nelson Cruz.

    Cruz would be much cheaper than Choo, and with good reason. He's a few years older, he's got an injury history, he's coming off a PED scandal and he's not near the defender Choo is. But he has a lot of power, as the Rangers and their fans know good and well.

    The Rangers need another feared bat in their lineup to go with Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre. Cruz isn't in that same class, but he's not far off, and he's definitely ahead of Alex Rios in terms of fear in the back of the mind of an opposing pitcher.

    Rangers GM Jon Daniels met with Cruz's agent and said the talks were "amicable" but didn't sound like much had been accomplished as far as negotiations.

    Cruz is reportedly seeking a four-year deal, which is a risk considering his age and some past durability issues. But sticking Cruz in as your DH and occasional corner outfielder would be a nice piece to add to the lineup and would give the Rangers a lineup with enough pop to do some damage in 2014 — something they severely lacked in 2013.