Nelson Cruz, Rangers staying in contact

Shortly after Nelson Cruz officially declined the $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Texas Rangers, his agent, Adam Katz, indicated he plans to keep talking with the club.

"We've always been engaged with the Rangers and continue to be," Katz said.

The agent did not want to go into specifics about what kind of multiyear deal Cruz is seeking. But Monday's decision means that if Cruz signs elsewhere, the Rangers would pick up a supplemental first-round pick.

It also means that any team that signs Cruz must also consider that it requires giving up a draft pick. Cruz said before the season ended that he liked playing in Texas. It's clear he fits into the clubhouse and that his teammates enjoy having him around. His power and production were missed in the lineup while he was out for 50 games for taking performance-enhancing drugs. (I wonder if that actually helps his overall value in the sense that the offense wasn't the same without him.)

But just because he declined the qualifying offer does not mean he's out of Texas. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels indicated last week that for the club to sign Cruz, it has to makes sense financially as well, saying the club will "have a level we'll go up to." But Monday's move means any club can go after Cruz.

It should be interesting to see what kind of value Cruz has on the open market and whether it falls in line with how the Rangers value him.