During Friday's press conference to announce the club's signing of outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, Texas Rangers' general manager Jon Daniels told reporters that the team is expecting long-time right fielder Nelson Cruz to sign elsewhere, indicating that a return to Texas is unlikely.
According to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com, Daniels recently called Cruz to express his gratitude for his contributions over the past 8 years. Aside from an 8-game stint with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2005, Cruz has spent the entirety of his career in Texas. The 33-year-old outfielder is a two-time All-Star with a career .268/.327/.495 (114 OPS+) line and 11.6 WAR.
#Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he called Nelson Cruz and agent and expressed club's thanks, but expects him to sign elsewhere.— Richard Durrett (@espn_durrett) December 27, 2013
Since the Rangers' addition of Choo, the odds of Cruz suiting up for a new team in 2014 have significantly increased. Texas now has no need for Cruz, with Choo, Leonys Martin, and Alex Rios expected to man the outfield, and Mitch Moreland and Prince Fielder welded into the DH and first base spots, respectively.
Thus far this offseason, Cruz has been linked to a multitude of teams including the Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles, and even the Oakland Athletics. Many view Seattle and Baltimore as the best fits.