OF Nelson Cruz.
On Monday afternoon the Texas Rangers announced that free agent slugger Nelson Cruz had rejected the Rangers' one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer to test the free-agent market. This came to no one's surprise as Cruz would be foolish to take a one-year deal coming off a near-30 home run season that saw him play only 109 games.
Of course, the reason Cruz only played 109 games is the story here, as he was suspended for the regular-season's final 50 games as part of the Biogenesis PED scandal. Even still, Cruz will probably still be able to command more on the open market than the qualifying offer the Rangers extended.
So what's this mean for both sides?
Well, it's a good thing for Cruz for the aforementioned reasons — he can test the market and could even still end up signing with the Rangers if it ends up being his best offer.
It's also a great thing for Texas, who would've been happy had Cruz accepted the deal but is probably just as happy he didn't. The Rangers are a team that's looking for multiple bats this winter, and Cruz rejecting the qualifying offer gives them the chance to have some flexibility in their search.
The rejection means that if another club now signs Cruz, the Rangers will be compensated with one of that club's first-round draft picks this summer. That, alone, makes it a lot easier for Jon Daniels & Co. to go after a free agent that rejected a qualifying offer himself, such as someone like Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo or even Kendrys Morales.
Losing a draft pick for signing one of those guys wouldn't be a big deal because they would know they'd have another pick coming back their way from whichever team signs Cruz.
So while the Boomstick might be gone forever, it wasn't a bad day for the Rangers, or Cruz, for that matter.