One of the players that could draw heavy interest this winter as a free agent has opted to decline the qualifying offer.
Outfielder Nelson Cruz has reportedly decided to turn off the qualifying offer made by the Texas Rangers (a one-year, $14.1 million deal) and as a result, he will test his value on the open market.
This is a huge mistake made by Cruz as he will probably be unable to receive that quantity signing with another team.
Despite the fact that he had a solid season with the Rangers, the fact that he was linked with the PED reports and was later suspended by the same issue will probably hurt his value. In 109 games played this past season, Cruz had 27 HR and 76 RBI and finished the year with a .266/.327/.506 slash line.
There will be several suitors for Cruz, there’s no doubt about it. Several franchises need a corner outfielder who can hit the ball with some pop in his bat, but there will always be a shadow above his performances. He might live a similar situation to Melky Cabrera, who had an MVP-caliber season with the San Francisco Giants in 2012. But after testing positive for PEDs, he only signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Several teams could decide to overpay for his services based on his track record and the good numbers he’s able to put across the board. But the suspension will likely be a red flag against him at the moment of signing and if he was looking to get a huge payday, he should’ve stayed with the Rangers to prove he can produce PEDs for a full season.