The Texas Rangers made it official Monday, tendering a $14.1 million qualifying offer to outfielder Nelson Cruz prior to today's 4 p.m. deadline.
The move wasn't a tough decision for the club. It's likely not a tough one for Cruz, either. He's expected to decline the option and seek a multiyear deal. He has until next Monday at 4 p.m. to make his decision. But don't misunderstand: If he spurns the one-year, $14.1 million offer, it doesn't mean he's not wearing a Rangers uniform in 2014.
The Rangers, like any other team, would have the right to negotiate with Cruz. He said prior to the season ending that he wanted to test the market. But he's also made it clear he likes Texas and wants to stay. The club needs a power hitter and it knows Cruz well. It may simply come down to what the market will bear and how many years are on the table.
Of course, if Cruz decides he wants to play in Texas and for $14.1 million next season, the Rangers would gladly pay it and put him out there with Leonys Martin and Alex Rios, filling one of their offseason holes. Stay tuned.
Cruz was the only Ranger to receive a qualifying offer. The others -- David Murphy, Colby Lewis, A.J. Pierzynski and Geovany Soto -- can sign with any club, including Texas. If they do go elsewhere, the Rangers won't receive any kind of draft pick compensation. Joe Nathan is also a free agent after he declined the club option on his contract last week.
* The Rangers reinstated left-handed pitchers Matt Harrison and Edwar Cabrera from the 60-day DL. Harrison made two starts and ended up having three surgeries in 2013. He's expected to be ready for the 2014 season. Cabrera was claimed off Colorado's roster in October.
* RHP Ross Wolf and LHP Travis Blackley cleared waivers and were outrighted to the minor leagues. Wolf was signed to a 2014 minor league contract with an invitation to big league spring training. Blackley elected to become a free agent.
Wolf, 31, was 1-3 with a 4.15 ERA in 22 games (three of them starts) for the Rangers in 2013. It was his first season in the majors since 2007.
* The Rangers have 34 players on the 40-man roster now.
* RHP Lisalverto Bonilla, because of an injury to a pitcher from another organization, was added to the roster of the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League. He's active starting tonight. Surprise's last game is Nov. 14.