Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Picimg_mlb_apr_22_103c

With how good Nelson Cruz has been for the Rangers over the last few seasons, it can be easy to forget just how tumultuous his road to the majors was. It wasn’t too long ago, however, that Cruz was the definition of the “Quad-A” player, crushing Triple-A pitching but stymied against pitching in the major leagues. That’s why, despite turning 32 in July, Cruz is entering just his second year of arbitration.

That also may be why the Rangers weren’t willing to buy out any of Cruz’s free agent seasons, going beyond his age 34 season. The Rangers did sign Cruz to an extension Thursday, buying out his final two seasons of arbitration for $16 million, Fox Sports’s Ken Rosenthal reports.

The Rangers’ trepidation at undertaking an extension beyond Cruz’s arbitration years were summed up quite succinctly by the joke Twitter account MLB Fake Rumors:

#Rangers OF Cruz pulls hamstring while taking physical.

— MLB Fake Rumors (@MLBFakeRumors) February 9, 2012

As excellent as Cruz has been for the Rangers, putting up 10 WAR over the past three seasons, his injury history is far to extensive to ignore. Observe, from his SB Nation player page:

Date Injury Type 13-Sep-11 Missed 12 games (left hamstring injury). 30-Aug-11 Left hamstring injury, 15-day DL. 2-Aug-11 Missed 2 games (right quadricep). 30-Jul-11 Left quadricep, day-to-day. 23-May-11 Missed 17 games (right quadricep). 7-May-11 Right quadricep, 15-day DL (retroactive to May 4). 4-May-11 Right quadricep, day-to-day. 30-Aug-10 Missed 15 games (hamstring). 16-Aug-10 Hamstring, early September. 15-Aug-10 Hamstring, day-to-day. 22-Jun-10 Missed 21 games (hamstring). 30-May-10 Hamstring, 15-day DL (retroactive to May 29). 29-May-10 Hamstring, day-to-day. 27-Apr-10 Right hamstring injury, early September. 4-Oct-09 Missed the last game of the regular season (sprained left ankle). 3-Oct-09 Sprained left ankle, day-to-day. 20-Aug-09 Missed 15 games (sprained left ankle). 14-Aug-09 Left ankle injury, early September. 4-Aug-09 Sprained left ankle, day-to-day. 22-Jul-09 Missed 3 games (finger injury). 19-Jul-09 Finger injury, day-to-day.

The Rangers clearly recognize Cruz as a good player and one who can be a cornerstone for their team in the short term. Even at 32, he’s primed to continue his solid play: ZiPS projects him for a .269/.327/.511 line. Justifiably, though, the Rangers are balking at any longer commitment. Cruz has simply been too brittle to commit to the player as a 34-year-old or beyond.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eli Manning expects Giants' offense to take off in 2015

Bruce Irvin apologizes for DUI April Fools' joke

Report: LeBron James calls plays, David Blatt repeats them

Anthony Davis puts Harden ahead of himself for MVP

LeBron James lists his top three friends in the NBA

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Reds to have in-stadium nursery

Izzo: MSU could win football, basketball titles in same year

Durant ‘would love to’ spend entire career with Thunder

Elementary school sportswriter has hot take on Cam Newton

Romo was willing to take pay cut to keep DeMarco Murray

Marcus Mariota reportedly not planning to attend NFL draft

Final Four fact or fiction

Five worst situations at quarterback in NFL

Young sportswriter behind Cam Newton column speaks out

Tom Brady posts Photoshop as April Fools' joke on Facebook

'Zo on MJ: He would average almost 50 in today's NBA

Report: Las Vegas season ticket drive passes goal of 10,000

WATCH: Steph Curry drops Chris Paul with crossover

WATCH: Spoelstra gives nice shoutout to Craig Sager

WATCH: Drew Miller takes skate to the face

WATCH: Gronk describes his perfect wife

Reigning National Champions to boycott Final Four in Indiana

This isn’t Tom Izzo’s greatest March masterpiece

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Final Four fact or fiction

Five worst QB situations in NFL

WATCH: Curry drops CP3 with crossover

Durant wants to spend career in OKC

This isn’t Tom Izzo’s greatest March masterpiece

Are the Angels being overlooked?

Top 20 players in the Final Four

Report: Tiger's plane spotted in Augusta

Moss shares story on meeting Deion

Five coaches already on the hot seat

Can we envision the Hawks in the Finals?

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.