Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 2/9/12

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

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night

WATCH: Klay Thompson can't go home unless he beats Steph Curry in 3-Point contest

Star players are hurting Houston Rockets

Emmitt Smith: Adrian Peterson only current player who could break rushing record

Coach K gets buzzer-beater win over Virginia for his birthday

Baylor approves new measures to deal with sexual assault

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

Drake has Kentucky edition of custom ‘OVO’ Air Jordan 8s

QUIZ: Name every NBA All-Star Game MVP

Watch rare footage of Stephen Curry from 2001-02 emerges

Check out this custom camouflage Oregon helmet

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

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker