A decision that had been made since last week, if not longer, became official Monday when the Texas Rangers officially made a one-year qualifying offer to free-agent slugger Nelson Cruz.
Cruz has until next Monday to decide if he will accept the offer, worth $14.1 million, or turn it down in hopes of landing a multiyear deal. He indicated last month a desire to test the market for the first time.
If Cruz doesn’t accept, he and the Rangers can continue to negotiate. If Cruz signs with another club, the Rangers would receive that team’s first-round pick as compensation for losing him.
Cruz, who hit 27 homers in 2013 before he was suspended 50 games for using performance-enhancing drugs, was the only eligible free agent from the 2013 Rangers to receive a qualifying offer. The Rangers declined to make the offer to closer Joe Nathan, who became a free agent last week when he exercised his right to decline the club option on him.
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Nathan is seeking a two-year deal.
Several potential Rangers free-agent targets received qualifying offers. Signing outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, catcher Brian McCann or designated hitter Kendrys Morales, among others, would cost the Rangers their first-round pick.
Left-hander Martin Perez, who won six straight decisions from Aug. 5 to Sept. 5 en route to a 10-6 record, was selected as the Rangers’ Rookie of the Year in voting by the Dallas-Fort Worth chapters of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Perez will be honored Jan. 24 at the Dr Pepper Awards Dinner at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. Other award winners will be revealed leading up to the event, which cost $75 to attend.
Right-hander Ross Wolf has signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training after clearing waivers.
Wolf, 31, joined the Rangers in May for a spot start and left the roster only briefly in late August while serving as the primary long man out of the bullpen. He went 1-3 with a 4.15 ERA.
Also clearing waivers was left-hander Travis Blackley, and he is now a free agent and off the 40-man roster. The Rangers have 34 players on the 40-man after lefties Matt Harrison and Edwar Cabrera were reinstated from the 60-day disabled list.