ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas general manager Jon Daniels heads to the general manager’s meetings next week knowing the main area of need for his club is hitting.
He also goes knowing that outfielder Nelson Cruz will likely reject the qualifying offer the team gave him for 2014.
“I expect he’s going to turn down the qualifying offer,” said Daniels. “Beyond that I don’t know. I’m sure we’ll stay in touch. If the general speculation throughout the national media and baseball media is accurate, I think there’s going to be a lot of big deals given out. With the lack of power, Nellie may very well benefit from that. We’ve got interest but we’ve got a level we’ll go up to and we’ll see what happens.”
Cruz has until Monday to make his decision about the qualifying offer, which would pay him $14.1 million for 2014.
Daniels said that if Cruz does remain with the Rangers, he’s capable of playing both the outfield and filling the team’s need at designated hitter.
Daniels said he expects teams to have interest in the glut Texas has in the middle infield with the trio of Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler and Jurickson Profar.
One way to clear up that issue would be to move Kinsler from second to another position to create a spot for Profar. Daniels said the club has had internal discussions about position moves but hasn’t talked to any player about the possibility.
And while Texas solidified its rotation for the future Thursday by signing Martin Perez to a deal that could keep him in Texas through the 2020 season, the team is also looking at short-term options.
One of those is right-hander Colby Lewis, who missed the 2013 season because of a torn flexor tendon and hip surgery.
Daniels said the Rangers have made a contract offer to Lewis.
“We’ve made him an offer and I think Colby wants to get a sense of what the market is,” Daniels said. “I love the guy. I love his family. Hopefully it works out. I know he’s made big strides coming back from the hip deal. We’re hopeful he’ll be in camp with us next spring but he’s going to take a little time and talk to other people too.”