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

Adrian Beltre completes cycle, gets mad when assaulted

Gruden had to convince Dan Snyder to bench RG3

Jim Mora turns P. Diddy fight into recruiting pitch for UCLA

Illinois releases results of women's basketball probe

Richie Incognito named starter by Rex Ryan

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

DeMarco Murray isn't thrilled Eagles limited reps in practice

Brandon Weeden: 'God forbid I am forced to play' for Dallas

Ben Roethlisberger: Markus Wheaton is ready to break out

Hernandez tipster allegedly had sexual relationship with him

Rookie WR Tyler Lockett has Pete Carroll, Seahawks gushing

Packers TE returns to practice in wake of family tragedy

WATCH: Giants players fight during training camp

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger Woods on Twitter

Report: Rousey to star in film based on her autobiography

Porn star offers to cook meal for any sports champion

Why everyone is wrong about Cowboys Tony Romo, Part 1

Oregon was only team drug tested during CFB Playoff?

Five 2nd year NBA players ready to take the next step

John Daly wants to be US Ryder Cup captain

Rodgers appears in another Olivia Munn workout video

Matt Hasselbeck is still getting random drug tests

Five teams that won at the MLB trade deadline

What should be expected from Aaron Rodgers in 2015?

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

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

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