Ranking Baseball’s Top Free Agents With Qualifying Offers

Max Scherzer

5. Nelson Cruz – For Nelson Cruz, it’s deja vu all over again. Last season, the slugger turned down Texas’ qualifying offer, only to sign for significantly less money. This year, he will decline, yet again, but likely with some hesitation after being traumatized by his miscalculation of the market. Cruz, now 34, did everything he could possibly do to keep his stock high. Crushing an American League leading 40 home runs, Cruz was a key piece to the Baltimore Orioles American League East division title. He averages over 30 home runs per 162 games and has been able to maintain his power numbers as his age creeps higher. He will probably end up with a two or three-year deal for a rather high annual salary. After all, teams pay for power. They just may not commit to it.

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Mario Mergola
Mario Mergola is a writer, avid sports fan, former ESPN Radio producer, husband, and father who specializes in finding the hidden gems of the less-explored option. Follow @MarioMergola