Cruz gets qualifying offer from Orioles

Baltimore, MD ( – For the second year in a row, Nelson Cruz
received a qualifying offer from his team. It’s likely that baseball’s 2014
home run champion will decline this one as well.

The Baltimore Orioles extended the one-year, $15.3 million tender to Cruz at
Monday’s deadline to do so. The veteran slugger will have one week to either
accept the offer or re-enter the free agent market.

Cruz was in the same situation while then with the Texas Rangers a year ago
and rejected the qualifying offer in hopes of obtaining a multi-year contract.
He was greeted with a cool market, however, in part due to being handed a 50-
game suspension in 2013 for being involved in the Biogenesis performance-
enhancing drug scandal.

The 34-year-old ultimately accepted a below-market one-year, $8 million
contract from the Orioles in February and responded with the best season of
his career. Cruz belted an MLB-best 40 homers and knocked in a personal-best
108 runs while batting .271 and helping Baltimore capture the American League
East title.

By tendering Cruz an offer, the Orioles will be able to receive a future draft
pick as compensation should the 2014 All-Star sign with another team.