Last season was a crazy one for Nelson Cruz. The thirty-four year old signed a 1yr/$8M contract with the Baltimore Orioles. When the Birds first signed the hard hitting right-hander they weren’t expecting the numbers he put up this past season. Cruz hit .271, with a Major League best 40HR, and 108 RBI.
Nelson Cruz recently came off a 50-game suspension for violating the Basic Agreements and its Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program. That occurred toward the end of the 2013 season. Besides the fact that a couple of teams were interested in his services, he wasn’t wanted by any other teams due to his recent actions. The two teams I mentioned are the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners. The Mariners were well aware of Cruz’s actions therefore, decided to take a pass on the slugger. The Orioles then signed Cruz thinking that he will provide more power to the lineup, and they sure thought correctly.
This offseason, Cruz is a free agent, therefore making himself available to each and every club.
Cruz reportedly turned down a three-year extension mid season to remain with the Birds. The Orioles have remained in contact with the thirty-four year old, and so have the Mariners as well. The Mariners have put aside their personal thoughts on Cruz’s past and are looking toward the bigger picture, which is to make the postseason and possibly toward the World Series. They believe with Cruz in that lineup, Robinson Cano will have some backup.
A deal with the Mariners seems realistic, knowing the fact that they are seeking an outfielder. Cruz is currently one of the most powerful bats on the market, obviously many teams could use his bat, but Seattle could be a front runner.
Cruz is bound to receive a reasonable contract this offseason based upon last seasons numbers. I could see a club offering a 3yr/$50M contract