Menu

Baseball

Wilson, Cruz agree to 1-year deals with Rangers

Left-hander C.J. Wilson and outfielder Nelson Cruz agreed to one-year contracts with the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, getting significant raises while avoiding salary arbitration.

The Rangers also exchanged salary figures with AL MVP Josh Hamilton and right-handed relievers Darren O'Day and Frank Francisco.

Wilson, who won 15 games last season when he made the transition from reliever to starter, gets a $7 million deal, up from $3.1 million last season. Cruz receives $3.65 million after making $440,000 last season. Both can earn an extra $150,000 in bonuses.

Hamilton earned $3.25 million last season, when he led the majors with a .359 batting average while hitting 32 home runs with 100 RBIs. The three-time All-Star slugger is asking for $12 million and the Rangers have offered $8.7 million.

Francisco was the primary setup reliever before missing the final month of the regular season and the postseason with muscle strain in his right side. He is seeking $4,875,000 and Texas is offering $3.5 million, only a slight bump from his $3,265,000 salary last season.

The Rangers are closer in their number with O'Day, who asked for $1.4 million, only $350,000 more than what the team offered. The submarine-style reliever had a 2.03 ERA in 72 appearances.

Texas hasn't been to a salary arbitration hearing with a player since 2000. They have until early February to come to agreements with Hamilton, O'Day and Francisco to avoid a hearing this year.

Wilson was 15-8 with a 3.35 ERA in 33 regular-season starts last year. He was 1-2 with a 3.70 ERA in four postseason games.

Before last season, Wilson's only major league starts had been as a rookie in 2005. He worked exclusively as a reliever from 2006-09 and was the team's primary closer at one point.

Cruz hit .318 with 22 home runs and 78 RBIs in 108 games during the regular season, when he was on the disabled list three times and missed 51 games because of issues with both hamstrings. He hit .317 with six homers and 11 RBIs in 16 postseason games.

"I'm very happy with this contract. It provides more stability for me and my family and I know I have my position safe," Cruz told The Associated Press. "I've enjoyed playing in Texas and this will help me to feel more comfortable because I will feel a bit more relaxed."

Cruz indicated that there are incentives that could push the value of his deal up to $8 million. He also said he has been working out with a track and field trainer trying to improve his conditioning and strength for his legs in hopes of avoiding injuries.

___

AP freelance writer Dionisio Soldevila contributed to this report.