ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) — Free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz has turned down the Rangers’ $14.1 million qualifying offer, the team announced on Monday.
By doing so, Cruz is now eligible to sign a multi-year deal with any club, including Texas.
Any team (other than Texas) that signs Cruz must forfeit its first-round pick. Texas would then receive a compensatory pick at the end of the first round of the 2014 amateur draft.
In 109 games, Cruz hit .266 (.327 OBP) with 27 homeruns and 76 RBIs last season. Cruz was suspended 50 games in August for alleged PED use as part of the Biogenesis investigation.
The Rangers right fielder returned for the team’s wildcard tiebreaker, going hitless in four at-bats with one strikeout at DH.
In eight seasons with Texas, Cruz has collected 489 RBIs and 157 homeruns — seventh most in club history.
Texas acquired outfielder Alex Rios via trade from the White Sox in August to fill the void. Rios, who is under contract through 2014, batted .280 with 26 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 47 games with Texas.
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