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December 09, 2013

Rangers winter meetings Monday wrap-up: Pursuit of Nelson Cruz

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels confirmed that he met with the agent for free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz, but said that he isn't sure what will come later this week from the talks with Adam Katz.

Cruz is seeking at least a three-year deal, while the Rangers would prefer two guaranteed years with a club option. Baltimore and Seattle have also shown interest in Cruz, according to a source, but no team has made him an offer.

Cruz would be more affordable than Shin-Soo Choo. The Rangers like that free agent, but his deal is likely to be higher annually and for more years than Cruz would get. Manager Ron Washington said that he would prefer to have a power bat like Cruz over a leadoff man like Choo.

“There’s nothing really to report, but conversations are amicable in nature,” Daniels said of the talks with Cruz’s agent, Adam Katz. “I don’t know if anything will come of it. We feel that we’ve probably made our biggest move already. We’d still like to do some things with the club, but it has to be the right fit.”

The Rangers might not go the route of an everyday outfielder in favor of a platoon partner with Michael Choice, a right-handed hitter. They could also try to add a righty hitter to pair with projected designated hitter Mitch Moreland.

Pitching is not on the Rangers' priority list, Daniels said. He believes enough depth is in place for the Rangers to better withstand the same kind of injury rash that hit them in 2014. Among the injured was Matt Harrison, who has three operations in a five-month span.

Two of those were to fix a herniated disc in his back. Harrison said on Monday, from his home in North Carolina, that he has been playing catch without any issues since mid-November and on Sunday stretched out to 150 feet.

Daniels said that the Rangers had considered adding Roy Halladay for depth, and made contact with his agent last month. Halladay, though, elected to retire Monday.

The Rangers could tie up another loose end Tuesday. Catcher J.P. Arencibia could take his physical exam in Arlington, the final necessary step toward making his one-year, $1.8 millon deal official.

-- Jeff Wilson

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