Remember last year when Nelson Cruz led the league in home runs? Yeah, well, the Texas Rangers had Alex Rios in right field in the midst of a career-worst power season while the entire lineup was lacking pop. And Cruz was doing all that damage on a one-year deal that the Rangers could've easily signed him to.
So this past winter as a free agent again, Cruz hung on the open market for a while before he eventually signed a four-year deal with the Mariners for $57 million. During the time in which he was free, he apparently expressed some interest in returning to the Rangers, where he played the first eight years of his career, and the Rangers were said to have interest in Cruz, as well.
But $57 million ended up being too much for Jon Daniels & Co. to spend on Cruz, who in his last year in Texas was suspended for 50 games in 2013 for PED use and does have a history of quad and hamstring injuries.
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But once again, Cruz is making the Rangers look dumb for not taking a run at him. Cruz has homered in each of his past five games — and in one of those games he hit two long balls. He still has his tremendous power stroke and could be providing a big boost to the Rangers' lineup, but instead he's doing the same to a divisional rival.
When he faces Yovani Gallardo on Friday night, he'll be looking to extend that home run streak, and the Rangers hope he doesn't make them look even more incompetent for passing him up.