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February 17, 2009

Don't Count on Cruz

   It doesn't appear that MLB and the players union deciding to change the free agent compensation rules will have much, if any, affect on the Rangers' interest in Juan Cruz.

   There are reports that a deal between MLB, the union and Arizona would allow the D'Backs to sign-and-trade Cruz, thus allowing teams to acquire him without giving up a draft pick. Details are still being worked out, but the D'Backs might also get a supplementary pick as well as whatever they can pick up in the trade. If no deal is finalized within 48 hours, Cruz would still be a free agent.

   While on the surface that might appear to help the Rangers do something to add Cruz, money is still the sticking point. One Texas insider tells me the team simply won't add any significant salary at this point and that that means Cruz is probably not going to happen here, even though he would immediately become a key piece in the Rangers' bullpen.

   Considering that six of the nine Rangers' regulars -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Chris Davis, Elvis Andrus, David Murphy, Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz -- will all make under $1 million each this season, you'd think there might be a little give in the payroll for something that could make the team significantly better.

   -- Jim Reeves




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