Seattle Mariners: Continued production from Nelson Cruz
Part of the reason Nelson Cruz left Baltimore was because the O’s were hesitant to give him a fourth year on his contract. Cruz, 34 years old last offseason, was looking for a contract longer than three years and the Mariners gave that to him.
Concern over long-term production for Cruz was the big reason most teams wouldn’t give him a four-year contract. The expectation is that Cruz will continue playing at a high level for at least two or three of those years in Seattle.
Last year, Cruz put up the best season of his career. He slashed .302/.369/.566 and blasted 44 home runs, finishing sixth in AL MVP voting. The Mariners hope he continues that production, especially after trading slugger Mark Trumbo to Baltimore. A strong second year would make the first half of his contract a great success.
Stocking Stuffers: a shiny crown for King Felix Hernandez and a big container of bubble gum for Robinson Cano.