Poll: Which Team Will Sign Nelson Cruz?

2013 is about to become 2014, and free agent slugger Nelson Cruz still hasn't found a home. Today, Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he does not expect Cruz to return to his club. Cruz's reported desire for a $75MM contract could be an impediment for many teams. With that in mind, let's look at Cruz's market.

Rangers. There doesn't seem to be a fit here, but it's worth noting that Daniels didn't completely rule out the possibility of re-signing Cruz, despite adding Shin-Soo Choo.

Mariners. A report two weeks ago indicated the Mariners still had interest in Cruz despite having already acquired Corey Hart and Logan Morrison. In light of a more recent report that the Mariners were approaching their payroll limit, one might think that another defensively-challenged corner player, particularly an expensive one, might be a luxury the Mariners could do without. But the Mariners have seemed unusually interested in such players in recent years.

Orioles. The Orioles have made contact with Cruz's agent, but there have been few indications that negotiations have progressed much. The O's would have to forfeit the No. 17 overall pick in next year's draft to sign Cruz, who declined the Rangers' qualifying offer, and they might not want to. Nonetheless, there's plenty of space for Cruz in Baltimore's lineup.

Rockies. Colorado has had some interest in Cruz, although it does not appear to be serious.

Royals. Kansas City tried to sign Carlos Beltran. They could still look to Cruz as a possible replacement, particularly if they're able to trade Billy Butler. That seems unlikely now, however, with the signing of Omar Infante taking up much of the money they had available.

Those are that teams that have been most closely connected to Cruz in the past month. Cruz would be a tricky fit with many NL teams, due to his defensive limitations, and many of them don't have an obvious spot for Cruz to play anyway. One team, the Pirates, that would make at least superficial sense for Cruz has ruled out signing him. Many remaining AL teams either appear to be mostly done making moves (Indians), don't want to lose the draft pick (Twins), don't generally make huge free-agent splashes (Athletics, Rays) or wouldn't be great fits for Cruz (Red Sox, Yankees, White Sox, Blue Jays).

Here are a few possibilities that are more speculative:

Tigers. Cruz would be a good fit in Detroit's lineup, which currently has Andy Dirks and Rajai Davis in left field and Victor Martinez as DH. The Tigers just signed Davis and therefore might not be likely to add another outfielder, but Davis would also be helpful in a reserve role. The Tigers' seeming disinterest in re-signing Jhonny Peralta, who was suspended last year for his role in the Biogenesis scandal, might also suggest a lack of interest in Cruz, who was also implicated. That might be a red herring, however, since Jose Iglesias' emergence was certainly a factor in Peralta's departure.

Astros. Houston could use help at the corner spots and DH and was connected to Choo, but they would likely be reluctant to part with a draft pick to sign Cruz, and would probably only be interested if he were a bargain.

Reds. The Reds tried to trade Brandon Phillips for Brett Gardner, and they showed interest in Carlos Beltran, indicating that they aren't completely satisfied with their outfield in the wake of Choo's departure. That they never appeared to be serious players for Choo and that they've tried, unsuccessfully, to clear Phillips' salary might indicate that they won't be able and/or willing to spend on Cruz, however.

Cubs. The Cubs should have money to spend and don't have much outfield talent (at least not currently in the big leagues), but as with the Astros, draft pick forfeiture could be an issue, and it doesn't seem like them to sign an expensive, win-now player like Cruz in the midst of a rebuilding project.


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77 Comments on "Poll: Which Team Will Sign Nelson Cruz?"


Member
JacobyWanKenobi
1 year 6 months ago

I voted Detroit. I think they could use another bat, and with Prince gone they have some mobility in terms of DH and positional rotations.

Member
Stuart Brown
1 year 6 months ago

How so? Martinez was/is their primary DH, not Fielder. Martinez played 119 innings in the field in 2013 and 271 innings in 2011. 14 and 32 games, respectively.

Member
EightMileCats
1 year 6 months ago

Vmart has to DH mostly. And the Tigers would need a LH(Which Cruz isn’t) bat to play LF(which Cruz shouldn’t.

Not to mention, all signs point to Detroit being at or near their spending limit

Member
TFF17
1 year 6 months ago

Thought their intention was to move Cabrera back to 1B and use Castellanos at 3B?

Member
Zachary Eick
1 year 6 months ago

DD, the Tigers GM, has come out and basically said the Joba signing is the last move of the offseason (“not aggressively pursuing” any players”). Detroit won’t be the team that lands Nelson…

Member
Brian
1 year 6 months ago

he ain’t worth it … waste of money on a juicer who’ll never earn it

Member
Michael
1 year 6 months ago

That’s why my thought is to offer Cruz one year and an option. See what he can do “clean” in 2014 and, if he performs well, kick in the option year. I just get jittery about guys like this. How many of his HRs, etc. came without “help”?

Member
TFF17
1 year 6 months ago

Problem with that is the draft compensation. Otherwise I could see somebody wanting him at one year and $10M or so.

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Kendall Cooper
1 year 6 months ago

He turned down the qualifying offer, which is greater than 1 year for 10 million. I doubt he would even consider that offer.

Member
TFF17
1 year 6 months ago

I know, and perhaps he will find somebody to give him $75M? But he is already a liability in the field, and the pay scale at DH doesn’t reach that high. I wish him the best, just don’t want to see my team pay that price.

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Kendall Cooper
1 year 6 months ago

I wasn’t saying he was going to get the $75M, I was just saying he wouldn’t take $10M on a one year deal. I would give him more than Beltran simply due to age, but I wouldn’t touch the $75M he wants.

Member
TFF17
1 year 6 months ago

I wouldn’t go past three years on Cruz, as the projections get ugly very quickly. But yeah, I could imagine $50M/3yrs if he can find the right fit. Do any teams need him at that price?

Member
TFF17
1 year 6 months ago

Beltran got just $45M, comes with fewer PED questions, and in my opinion is the better player. Maybe $10M is a lowball offer, but no more ridiculous than what he is asking.

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philly_435
1 year 6 months ago

Keep in mind that he turned that offer down while there was a much bigger market

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Jonathan Barlock
1 year 6 months ago

I dont want my Mariners to get him unless its a short term deal, even then the Ms will either have a worse OF or more of a DH jam

Member
Tony Matias
1 year 6 months ago

Did people vote Mariners because they felt Cruz should go there, or because Jack Z. seems to only bring in the same player over and over again?

BTW.. I voted KC

Member
trenigro
1 year 6 months ago

I’d say its more because the M’s still need another OF and right handed hitter. At his current asking price, it would be a huge mistake but I wouldn’t mind bringing him in on a 2-3 year deal (NOT at $15M per year). Smoak needs to be traded though so that Morrison/Hart can play 1B/DH. I’m sure someone will sign him for more than that so hopefully its not the M’s.

Member
bravesrule384
1 year 6 months ago

I voted for KC too, shony. The Royals are the team I grew up rootin for, during the 80’s with the likes of George Brett, Frank White, Dan Quisenberry, etc. Cruz would be a very nice addition to that lineup. The Royals are right there, on the cusp of being a contender, not a pretender.

Member
Ruben_Tomorrow
1 year 6 months ago

Does anyone know if he enjoyed being in Texas while playing for the Rangers? The state has its perks and Carlos Lee comes to mind in some ways when I think of Nelson Cruz. I could see him going to Houston even though I was thinking Baltimore could be a destination.

Member
MadmanTX
1 year 6 months ago

I think Cruz wants to come back to Texas, but not on a 2 year deal. I don’t blame him, but you can’t blame the Rangers or other teams of being cautious of signing him to a 4 year deal. That being said as a Rangers fan, I see him landing in Seattle because they need to go all in to get some offense and might be willing to give Cruz 3 yrs plus an option.

Member
burnboll
1 year 6 months ago

Rangers have a very strong hand in any negotiations with Cruz

Member
1 year 6 months ago

I agree with you…

The problem is that he’s tied to draft pick compensation. The Rangers lost a draft pick by signing Choo and I know JD would love nothing more than to get one back for Nelly. JD hasn’t ruled out signing Cruz, but unless he settles for a 1 or 2 year deal, I don’t think he’ll be coming back to the Rangers…which as you said, gives them a strong hand in negotiations.

If he really wants to come back, which I think he does, then he’ll have to change his demands…which I think he will have to do anyway…no matter where he signs. The longer he remains a FA, the better the odds he re-signs with the Rangers…IMO.

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Ron Loreski
1 year 6 months ago

Nope. They gave Choo #17

Member
1 year 6 months ago

Jersey numbers don’t necessarily mean anything. Guys buy out other guys to get jersey numbers all the time. As of the signing, Cruz was not on the roster, therefore #17 was available.

Member
1 year 6 months ago

I think Cruz loves it in Texas. He’s a low key/mild mannered type guy and that blends in well here…plus who doesn’t like no state income tax.

Funny thing is, He was traded from the Brewers to the Rangers as part of the Carlos Lee trade.

Member
ceraunograph
1 year 6 months ago

Not that I think it’s realistic at all but if I ran the Mets I’d sign him to play first base. He shouldn’t be an outfielder much longer anyway, and will come cheaper than any first baseman with comparable power would.

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vigouge
1 year 6 months ago

He’s a waste of money given that the Mets can get near the same level of production with a platoon.