Texas Rangers Must Find Potential Nelson Cruz Replacement


Jul 24, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz stretches prior to his at bat in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Bud Selig is seemingly on a the warpath, willing to do anything necessary to punish those linked to Biogenesis. The Detroit Tigers responded accordingly last night. The Texas Rangers would be wise to do the same today.

It was reported by the New York Daily News Tuesday night that Major League Baseball officials notified the Player’s Association they intend to suspend nine more players. Reports indicate Alex Rodriguez is among them, but the other eight are still unconfirmed.

Two of the players continuously linked to Biogenesis from previous reports are Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta and Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz.

Detroit has already brought in a backup plan for if Peralta is suspended, acquiring Jose Iglesias from the Boston Red Sox in last night. Jake Peavy going to Boston was the headliner of that three-team trade, but the move the Tigers made is essentially a dead giveaway that the team knows it’s about to lose its starting shortstop.

Yet, the Rangers still haven’t brought in any insurance in case of a suspension. One reason for that could be that could be Cruz is reportedly still mulling over whether he’ll take or appeal the suspension.

Either way, the Rangers need to act sometime between now and today’s non-waiver trade deadline at 4 p.m. ET.

Even with Cruz in the lineup, Texas has won just four of their last 16 games, falling five back of the Oakland Athletics. The Rangers are still just a game back in the wild card, but that play-in game didn’t work out so good for them last season.

Cruz is having a fine season, hitting .271/.344/.501 with 24 home runs and 72 RBIs, serving as the team’s main threat behind Adrian Beltre. Texas could be planning on replacing him with Jurickson Profar in the event of a suspension, but he’s such a question mark at this point.

Still only 20-years-old, Profar hasn’t hit the ground running like some of the other young rookies we’ve seen the past couple years. Regularly a middle infielder, Profar has played just four games in the outfield.

Outfielders rumored to be available include Alex Rios, Hunter Pence, Michael Morse and Nate Schierholtz. Jeff Wilson reported Monday that Rangers GM Jon Daniels didn’t expect to add a big bat, but Jon Morosi tweeted Tuesday that the team will listen on anyone.

If the season ended today, the Rangers would be on the outside looking in. That fact alone should have the front office scrambling to get something done.