Due to the losses sustained during the now gone off-season, the Texas Rangers are going to rely on Nelson Cruz for a lot of production in the 2013 season. But what is Cruz’s role in years to come?
Cruz is 32 years old and has been with the Rangers for basically his entire eight-year career. The age of 32 in baseball is sadly past your prime and the Rangers have a lot of young outfielders.
So what would be best for the Rangers to do with Cruz’s contract running up after the 2014 season?
With young outfield prospects such as Julio Borbon, Craig Gentry and Leonys Martin all very close to major league ready, I think it is time to let the young guys get some playing time. Not to mention the prospects that are a little farther behind such as Jairo Beras and Nomar Mazara. Both of whom are 17-year-old kids who the Rangers signed straight out of the Dominican Republic.
With this load of young players who are expected to be major league ready in the next year or two it would be a good idea for Cruz to mentor the young players. Especially the ones who share his home country of the Dominican. Cruz has a lot of experience and could relate to his countrymen very well. Unfortunately, a year or two from now that is all I can see Cruz doing.
Cruz’s future with the Rangers is not as a player. If he was to come back after his contract ends. There will be opportunities to play for other clubs and I’m sad to say that leaving is the most realistic option for Cruz after his current contract.