ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 31: Nelson Cruz #17 of the Texas Rangers hits a solo homerun against the Los Angeles Angels at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on July 31, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Nelson Cruz's free-agent market is still up in the air. The Texas Rangers slugger, who missed the final 50 games of the 2013 regular season for a PED suspension, is still being considered by the Rangers, but as days go by it seems more likely he'll go elsewhere.
That idea was hammered home even more on Sunday when the St. Louis Cardinals signed former Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, who was also suspended for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal last season, to a four-year, $52 million deal.
It seems unlikely the Rangers would be willing to give Cruz any more than a three-year deal, and that might even be unlikely given his past with questionable hamstrings and his age (he'll be 34 in July). But Peralta's deal sets the precedent for the Biogenesis offenders.
Peralta is a few years younger than Cruz, and even if Cruz doesn't get a four-year deal, he's surely set to get more money than Peralta — a decent hitting shortstop with nothing resembling Cruz's power. Cruz might be the top power bat on the market and could easily get three years and $60 million from some willing club.
Ideally for the Rangers, it'd be nice if they get Cruz on a three-year deal with a possible vesting option for a fourth year for somewhere in that $60 million range. If it gets beyond that, the Rangers will definitely be out of the equation.