ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 27: Nelson Cruz #17 (R) of the Texas Rangers celebrates with Mike Napoli #25 after hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning during Game Six of the MLB World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on October 27, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The hero of the 2011 postseason has expressed his desires for his future.
Nelson Cruz wants to be a Texas Ranger for the rest of his career. He's currently up for arbitration on Feb. 17, and that's never a fun process.
Arbitration means the Rangers and Cruz will meet in front of what is essentially a judge and argue their cases. The Rangers will try to pick apart Cruz's weakness and pay them what they want to, which is $5.5 million for one year. Cruz is seeking $7.5 million for 2012.
Cruz doesn't seem too worried about going to arbitration, but does admit it can be an uncomfortable process.
“I’m not afraid of the process,” Cruz told ESPN. “If we need to go to arbitration, I’ll do it. But in an ideal world, it’s better to avoid it altogether.”
The parties will likely agree to a one-year deal, at one of the figures or somewhere in between, and Cruz wants to be in Arlington for the long haul.
It's a certainty that Rangers fans want him around too, after he hit eight home runs and drove in 16 runs in the 2011 postseason, including a monster ALCS in which he hit six bombs and drove in 13 to earn series MVP honors.
“I’d like to be a Ranger for life,” said Cruz, who won’t be eligible for free agency until 2014. “I like the city, the team and the fans. “Arlington is my second home."