The hope of Nelson Cruz returning to the Texas Rangers on a club-friendly, one-year deal after a diminishing market has set in for the slugger appears to be coming to an end.
According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the Seattle Mariners are open to the idea of giving the former Rangers slugger a multi-year deal — something no one else seems to be willing to do for a guy that was seeking four years and $75 million when free agency began.
Cruz, 34, was on pace for a career year last season in Texas before being popped with a 50-game ban for his involvement with the Biogenesis PED scandal that forced him to miss the last 50 games of the regular season in a playoff chase that saw the Rangers come up one game short in Game 163, in which he returned to go 0-for-3.
There has been talk that Cruz could fall right back in the Rangers' lap on a one-year pillow deal to help him re-establish his value, but it would not have been equal to the qualifying offer the Rangers made to him for $14.1 that Cruz declined to go searching for more money. In fact, wherever he signs, it likely won't be for as much money as he would've earned had he accepted the Rangers' qualifying offer.
Cruz is a much better hitter in Arlington than anywhere else over the course of his career, and Seattle isn't known for being a good hitter's park, even though it's not as bad as it used to be since the moved the fences in last year. But it's still no Rangers Ballpark.
If Cruz signs elsewhere, the Rangers receive draft pick compensation, but if he signs with Seattle, the Rangers would only recoup a third-round draft pick instead of the usual first-rounder.