ARLINGTON -- The Rangers not only signed outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, they also gave him the No. 17 jersey. That was Nelson Cruz's number during his time with the Rangers. Cruz remains a free agent, and Choo's signing makes it a near certainty that he is not returning to the Rangers.
General manager Jon Daniels spoke with Cruz on Saturday after reaching an agreement with agent Scott Boras on Choo.
"I'm not going to 100 percent close any doors, but I think realistically his best opportunity may be elsewhere and I'm expecting him to sign elsewhere," Daniels said.
If that happens, shortstop Elvis Andrus and first baseman Mitch Moreland would be the only two players left from the Rangers' starting lineup from Game 6 of the 2010 American League Championship Series, when they beat the Yankees and advanced to the World Series for the first time in club history.
Cruz, who was acquired in a trade from the Brewers on July 26, 2006, is sixth all-time in Rangers history with 157 home runs and 14th with 489 RBIs. His .495 slugging percentage is ninth best among Rangers players with at least 1,000 at-bats.
Daniels said the Rangers still would like to add a right-handed bat as a possible platoon complement to Moreland at designated hitter. Michael Choice, a right-handed-hitting outfielder who was acquired from the Athletics on Dec. 3, is one possibility.
"We've already pushed through the budget," Daniels said. "You know us, we're always going to do our due diligence, but our focus right now is we could use a right-handed bat to complement Mitch and complement some other things we're doing. Pitching depth, we always like to shore that up. That's where our focus is.
"We have Michael Choice. We have a number of guys we brought in this winter. We have some options, but we're always looking to add some depth and improve where we can."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less