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NELSON CRUZ AVOIDS ARBITRATION, SIGNS FOR 2 SEASONS
Mon, 13 Feb 2012 02:45 PM EST

Rangers’ outfielder Nelson Cruz has concluded to a 2-year contract, taking him through the rest of his arbitration years.

Informers claimed the contract is worth $16 million, plus $500,000 in inducements. State lottery

“I’m delighted to play a part in the Texas Rangers franchise,” Cruz said.

The 31-year-old Cruz is coming off a 2011 season in which he hit .263 with 29 homers and 87 RBIs. He was the ALCS MVP after putting up major offensive numbers, including a postseason-series record 6 home runs and 13 RBIs in helping the Rangers beat the Detroit Tigers in 6 games.

The Rangers and the outfielder had exchanged arbitration figures last month to reveal a gap of $2 million with Cruz asking for $7.5 million and the team offering $5.5 million. Assistant managing director Thad Levine related the contract won’t discourage the Rangers from exploring a longer-term handle Cruz in times to come. Lotteries

Cruz was bought at the trade cut-off point in 2006 when the Texas Rangers sent a package that contained reliever Francisco Cordero to the Milwaukee Brewers for Carlos Lee and Cruz. At the time, Cruz had shown a capability to crush junior league pitching but wasn’t in a position to solidly hit in the majors.

He didn’t hit right away in Texas, either, and revamped his swing in a couple of minor league participation, after all returning for a strong end to the 2008 season and turning into the beginning right fielder the next year. Cruz has 106 home runs in 1,893 regular-season at-bats and has driven in 323 runs.

Cruz has concentrated on getting his legs stronger for the past month at the Bommarito Performance facility in Miami, joining squad Mike Napoli and Leonys Martin.

“I feel a bit like I’m in good shape now than in the past,” Cruz said. “I anticipate a massive performance of myself and nothing but returning to the World Series.”

He has been on the disabled list 5 times the last two seasons, with 4 of those stints coming due to hamstring issues (the other a quad muscle).

Cruz asserted he’s worked hard to move on from the World Series — including Game six — recognizing it had been a difficult loss. With the Rangers one strike away from the title, Cruz headed back on a ball hit by David Freese but couldn’t get to it and the St. Louis Cardinals tied the score. The Cardinals could win in noteworthy fashion in the 11th inning before taking Game seven and the Series.

“It’s 1 of those balls where I trust my aptitude,” Cruz announced. “I should have been closer to the wall. I thought I should have been playing shallow and that’s what happened.”

Cruz talked about an ambition to come back to the World Series and get the ultimate prize this time.

“You frequently want to finish a goal, especially back-to-back years and not making it,” Cruz said. “You’ve got to get over it. You don’t always get what you want. The entire team, the training staff, we need to ensure we get better, whatever we must do to get better to be certain we get back to the World Series and win it all.”


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