BY:  Richard W. Humphrey

Multiple local reports indicate that the Rangers will shortly announce they have reached agreement with Nelson Cruz on a new two-year contract estimated to be in the $14 – $15 million range.  The agreement will avoid the arbitration hearing scheduled for next week.  Cruz will be eligible to become a free agent after the 2013 season.

Assuming these reports are true, the Rangers will be left with one remaining open arbitration case.  Mike Napoli, whose hearing is scheduled next week, is asking for $11.5 million, while the Rangers offer is $8.3 million.

UPDATE: Reports Thursday afternoon indicate that Cruz has passed the physical required to finalize the contract, which is now reported to be worth $16 million in salary over the two years with an additional $500,000 in unspecified incentives.  Cruz has indicated that the parties are still having conversations regarding a longer term contract.

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