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.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Johnny Bench(ed): Manziel demoted to third string

ACC schools find themselves in major financial trouble


New York Rangers are the richest team in the NHL

Magic laments potential record setting in Warriors vs. Lakers

Jets waive former first-round pick Quinton Coples


Harbaugh: Jabrill Peppers can be 'the Willie Mays of football'

Warriors interim coach Luke Walton's car stolen in Oakland

Ray Lewis: I would take Rex Ryan over Bill Belichick

Jameis Winston's reckoning

Bradford’s status for game on Thanksgiving ‘up in the air’

Johnny Manziel could be benched over partying video

Who has the edge: comparing current College Football Playoff outsiders

Rex Ryan on interference penalty: Would Bill Belichick have been flagged?

Examining the Mavericks' hot start

Tony Romo, Cam Newton say Greg Hardy is a good teammate

Report: Colin Kaepernick suffered ‘extensive’ labrum tear

Brian Dawkins rips the Philadelphia Eagles defense

Texans troll Darrelle Revis on Twitter

Lane Johnson criticizes Eagles fans, quickly backtracks

LeBron James: Stop with the player comparisons

Muhammad Wilkerson: Todd Bowles 'went off' on Jets

Mike Trout, four years in

Tom Brady on ‘Rex Ryan!’ line call: It’s ‘in the playbook’

Four teams with strong chance to win first-ever Super Bowl

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Examining the Mavericks' hot start

Johnny Bench(ed): Manziel demoted to third string

Mike Trout, four years in

Tom Brady on ‘Rex Ryan!’ line call: It’s ‘in the playbook’

Five NFL teams trending downward

Not so fast, USC: Eagles Chip Kelly buys Philly-area home

The five best hockey fights from Week 7

Bart Starr doesn’t remember Green Bay Packers career

WATCH: Did Mike Ditka really fart again?

WATCH: Tom Brady uses ‘Rex Ryan’ as audible call

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker