With five players left eligible for arbitration, the Rangers had their work cut out for them to avoid exchanging figures. That task is left half done. With Heyman's report that a deal was close with Darren O'Day, we'll call that a half a deal. The deals that got done, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, were with Nelson Cruz and C.J. Wilson.
Cruz settled with the club for $3.65 million for 2010. His deal will be a 729.6% raise from the $440,000 he earned in 2010. Cruz has had trouble staying healthy, but puts up solidly good offensive production and reasonable defense in right field for the Rangers. Last year's batting line was a robust .318/.374/.576 in 445 plate appearances.
Wilson jumped from a bullpen role into the starting rotation. After saving fifty games from 2007-09 for the Rangers in 190 relief appearances, Wilson made 33 starts in 2010 and got credit for 15 wins for the AL Pennant winning Rangers. His peripherals were solid as well, as he allowed fewer baserunners per inning as a starter than he did as a reliever.
Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram posted the spreads between the Rangers and the remaining arbitration eligibles.¬†Josh Hamilton is the big name awaiting a settlement. He is seeking $12 million in his second year of arbitration and the club countering with $8.7 million. ¬†Hamilton is the reigning AL MVP and can make a strong case for the higher figure.
O'Day seems the most likely to get a deal done quickly. He seeks $1.4 million, with the Rangers offering $1.05 million. Frank Francisco also exchanged figures with the club. The Rangers want to pay him $3.5 million. Francisco think his worth is $4.875 million. Because Francisco has six years of service time, he is one of two free agents who accepted the offers of arbitration from their club.
Joe Tetreault is Managing Editor of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He can be contacted here through The Biz of Baseball
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