- Associated Press - Thursday, February 9, 2012

AL championship series MVP Nelson Cruz has agreed to a $16 million, two-year contract with the Texas Rangers.

The deal includes $500,000 in performance bonuses over the two years. With the agreement, negotiated by agents Sam and Seth Levinson, Cruz avoids an arbitration hearing that had been scheduled for next week.

A 31-year-old slugging outfielder, Cruz had asked for $7.5 million in arbitration and the team had offered $5.5 million. He made $3.65 million last year.

The deal came one day after Elvis Andrus and the Rangers completed a $14.4 million, three-year contract that avoided a hearing.

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AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.

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