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)
When the World Series was won on Wednesday night and the baseball season officially ended, the clock started ticking on several decisions the Texas Rangers and other teams have to make about the upcoming season.
The Rangers have apparently already made one, according to The Dallas Morning News. They will extend a $14.1 million qualifying offer to slugger Nelson Cruz, who missed the final 50 games of the 2013 regular season while serving a PED suspension. Cruz is a free agent, but his market value has likely plummeted because of the suspension and possible questions about his level of play if he isn't getting illegal assistance.
That could work to the Rangers' advantage, as there is no question they need some offensive help. Cruz led the Rangers in homers for much of the seaosn, even after the suspension until Adrian Beltre passed him up late in the year. He was in the midst of a career season before the suspension and could be a nice bargain for the Rangers.
If the Rangers do, in fact, make the offer, Cruz could either accept the deal or go elsewhere. If he signs with another team, the Rangers will receive compensation in the form of a draft pick following the first round of the 2014 draft.
Cruz hit .266 with 27 home runs and 76 RBIs in 109 games.