Talks Between Mariners, Nelson Cruz Are On Hold

FEBRUARY 13: Talks between Cruz and Seattle are on hold, reports Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. With disagreement over contract value persisting, the club may be turning its attention to other priorities, says Cotillo.

FEBRUARY 8: It's only "a matter of time" before the Mariners agree to terms with Cruz, industry sources tell Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune (on Twitter). 

FEBRUARY 7: The Mariners are still in talks with Cruz even after agreeing to a two-year, $14MM contract with Fernando Rodney, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Last night, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported that the Mariners were "all-in" following the Rodney signing and "cautiously optimistic" that they can land Cruz.

FEBRUARY 4: Talks between the Mariners and Nelson Cruz have gotten more serious in the past few days, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Seattle is believed to be open to offering a two-year deal and could possibly stretch to include an option or even a third guaranteed year, according to Heyman's report. Reports late last week indicated that the Mariners were preparing to make an offer to Cruz and agent Adam Katz of the Wasserman Media Group.

Seattle has the sixth overall selection in the 2014 draft, meaning its first-round pick is protected under Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement. The Mariners have also already forfeited their second round pick in signing Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240MM contract, meaning they'd "only" be looking at forfeiting their Competitive Balance round pick. Seattle won the final pick of Competitive Balance Round B in last summer's Competitive Balance lottery.

The Mariners have been reported as one of Cruz's primary suitors all offseason, though he's been connected to the Orioles heavily at times as well. Recent reports have suggested that he could be a fallback option for the Rangers on a one-year deal or that the Twins could show interest if his price dropped to the point where he fell into their laps (i.e. less than $10MM annually at a maximum of two years).


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122 Comments on "Talks Between Mariners, Nelson Cruz Are On Hold"


skrockij89
1 year 7 months ago

Could Smoak be traded if Cruz signs with the M’s? Considering that Cruz’s number is the same as Smoak? It would make sense to trade him to a team that needs a 1B.

livingpaint
1 year 7 months ago

While that may be true, his numbers are still not great in the ballparks that matter. 80ish home games at a .198 clip (slightly better than Chone Figgins or Brendan Ryan numbers? — pass) A’s at .194 — pass. The others are on par with M’s hitters the last few years but we want to bolster the line up, not make it more average.

He’s also coming off PED suspension which means he’s probably coming off PEDs. Which ultimately means a dip in performance. Almost every player who has gone off them because they got caught, has had pedestrian or sub-par performances post suspension. Does he pose a power threat? Sure he does. But the numbers dont support a whole lot of success outside of Texas.

If Morales could play the outfield, Id much rather have him again — he, like seager, hit in clutch situations more often. One of the reasons I was miffed when we traded Jaso last year. Think of a guy like Smoak, he has power too and had a nice run of bombs last year but a majority of them were solos. He couldnt hit ’em when anyone was standing on a bag. Clutch RBI guys are scarier to face than someone who can go yard on you. That’s what made Edgar such a feared hitter.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

He played last year removed from Peds since his name was already linked. You don’t think MLB wasn’t catching his piss every time the urinal cake got wet? He managed 25 hrs in very short time. I think his power is legit, but obviously the stigma will exceed all.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

But that 2009 Yankees team was an absolute beast.

100+ games from
melky, cano, Damon, Gardner, Jeter, Matsui, Posada, A-Rod, Swish, Teix.

The Mariners are not a complete team, They look like they improved, but they still have so many holes.

Meh Sheep
1 year 7 months ago

Just 3 former Rangers on the Orioles 40 man roster. Davis, Hunter and O’Day. Davis and Hunter came in the Uehara trade, O’Day off a waiver claim. Bet the Rangers would gladly take all of them back. Davis and his 53 home runs and near MVP season, O’Day and his 2.13 ERA or Hunter and his 2.89 ERA.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

Yet another reason why those comp picks are a sham. Any team that can afford $240M salary for an over 30 yo free agent doesn’t know how to build their team right. I really don’t like those comp picks, revenue sharing, fine, it helps to give the lower end teams some more money to spend, but really is unfair to give some teams extra picks. Especially team like the Mariners, or Detroit.

orangenblackattack
1 year 7 months ago

This is a solid move. It will give the M’s a legitimate 3-4-5 combo along with Cano and Hart. Now trade for David Price and we have ourselves a contender!

RJDavis11
1 year 7 months ago

I’d prefer they didn’t sign Cruz AND sent Smoak packing. Having Cruz share an outfield with Morrison/Hart and Ackley would be the worst defensively in the league (or close to it, I’m sure someone has the saber #s). Ackley is fine if you also have Saunders and Guti out there, but if he is the anchor of the defense, no thanks. Prefer they alternate Morrison and Hart at 1B and DH, and stick with Saunders, Guti, Ackley in the OF and have Bloomquist, Almonte, and Morrison/Hart on hand in case of injury, which is likely.

trenigro
1 year 7 months ago

I’d certainly be all for passing on Cruz and dealing Smoak. That would be my preference but if they feel the need to bring in Cruz, I won’t flip out about it as long as its only for 2 years. Cruz/Saunders/Ackley with Guti as the 4th OF would be poor defensively but not nearly as bad as last year. IMO Smoak needs to go no matter what so that Morrison and Hart can play strictly 1B/DH.

RJDavis11
1 year 7 months ago

Agreed, Cruz/Saunders/Ackley isn’t terrible, but that would require moving Smoak to place either Morrison or Hart at 1B. Looking a little further, DJ Peterson seems to be the future at 1B, creating an even larger challenge if a long term deal is being discussed with Cruz. If Peterson is ready and comes up, Morrison or Hart would likely end up in the outfield, diminishing the defense even more with Cruz out there.

johnrhee
1 year 6 months ago

Acquire Dominic Brown, Colby Rasmus, Matt Joyce, or Desmond Jennings w/ a starting pitcher to bolster the Mariners if wanting a shot of winning the division and making the playoffs including the World Series just like what the Seahawks did to earn the Super Bowl win. Will be fun to see Hisashi Iwamura & his Japanese translator to talk at the podium in Safeco Field during the team parade if winning the World Series as you never know for some teams in sports that can surprise on any given days/evenings.

brian310
1 year 7 months ago

What if they signed Cruz and brought back Morales cheap for 1year amd dealt Smoak?…what would that lineup even look like? Cruz playing RF, Hart and Morrison rotating between 1B and LF, Morales playing there occasionally, when Morales sits, one of the other three could DH. Could be the slowest team in the league

RJDavis11
1 year 7 months ago

It would look like a terrible outfield defensively, and one that isn’t made up for with offensive production. I agree the M’s need bats and next year’s FA class isn’t lighting anyone’s world on fire, but I would rather get it by trading young talent for a Matt Kemp type, rather than limited skills ala Cruz and Morales. We still don’t know what Morrison and Hart will bring after coming off injuries, I would hate to depend on either in the outfield.

The_Unnatural
1 year 7 months ago

I don’t get why people bring up his numbers in Safeco. Safeco’s fences have been moved in and Cruz won’t have to face all the good pitchers the M’s have had in the past. Yes, his numbers will drop, but so would any other hitter’s they brought in.

trenigro
1 year 7 months ago

Cruz can actually play in the OF… He’s bad at it, but that still makes him much more valuable defensively than Smoak who can’t play in the OF at all. The M’s already have Morrison and Hart anyways so Smoak’s inability to play anything but 1B is a problem. Also not that Cruz is a great hitter, but he is way way better at hitting than Smoak.

MSUcorner
1 year 6 months ago

There isn’t much value in a guy in the outfield that gives up buckets of runs. Smoak would be as good defensively in RF as Cruz, but that doesn’t mean we should put him out there.

trenigro
1 year 6 months ago

Cruz is a pretty bad OF but are you really trying to say that Justin Smoak would be just as good (bad) as Cruz if put in the OF? Seriously? There’s different degrees of bad and while we can all agree that Cruz is very poor defensively, lets not go overboard about how poor. He’s not Raul Ibanez, Mike Morse, Logan Morrison or Justin Smoak in the OF bad.

MSUcorner
1 year 6 months ago

I may have over exaggerated. But I’ve seen enough Cruz that I can’t say he is more competent in the field than Morse or Raul. I think Cruz is one of the more underratedly bad defenders.

Every series I’ve seen of the Rangers, he has misplayed at least one routine ball into extra bases.

Bernard Middlebrook
1 year 6 months ago

underratedly? Not a word.

The_Unnatural
1 year 7 months ago

Nice, less than 100 AB, in pitcher’s parks, against some of the best pitching in the league.

livingpaint
1 year 7 months ago

So… whats his excuse for more hitter friendly parks like:

@Blue Jays 32AB .219 avg .563 SLG 3HR 7 RBIS 5 XBH
@Royals 25AB .120 avg .240 SLG 1HR 3 RBIS 1 XBH
@Yankees 41AB .146 avg .268 SLG 1HR 3 RBIS 3 XBH
@Twins 42AB .262 avg .405 SLG 1HR 3 RBIS 4 XBH

And it’s not like he was facing Felix and Iwakuma every time they played us here… Think about when we play them there in Arlington, same best pitchers, but he just happens to HIT better there.

If we were run by Beane and this was a moneyball equation, he would not get the amount of discussion he has had.

Being a pitcher friendly park with a spacious outfield, I personally think money/trades would be better spent if we had someone like Span, Bourgeois, Crisp, Gardner, etc… Someone who could field and wont look silly at the plate.

Bernard Middlebrook
1 year 6 months ago

Bourgeois? This guy? Why would the Mariners want him?
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/bourgja01.shtml

raffish
1 year 7 months ago

Raul Ibanez hit 29 HR last year.

Jacob
1 year 6 months ago

Raul Ibanez and Nelson Cruz are two different people, I think

GD
1 year 7 months ago

Our SP has been very stellar against Cruz @ Safeco. He won’t be facing Seattle SPs, so I’m sure his numbers will improve at Safeco against our rivals. He’s slaughtered Angels and Astros pitching (@ home and away!) So his success against Boston/Angels/Astros goes way beyond the confines of Arlington.

Stevil
1 year 7 months ago

People do overvalue draft picks. But sacrificing a draft pick for a player on the wrong side of 30 coming off a PED suspension, who K’s a ton, offers little defensively, and will play nearly 3/4ths of his games in stadiums where he’s been terrible throughout his career, I think the gripes are warranted.

Signing Cruz may also prevent the M’s from finding a better outfield option at some point down the road this season.

He’s not going to make the difference between contending and not contending, so why bother?

GD
1 year 7 months ago

2014

13 HRs @ Safeco
22 HRs on Road

Stevil
1 year 7 months ago

The M’s would have to sacrifice that compensatory if Morales signs elsewhere before the draft, because of the Cano signing.

Stevil
1 year 7 months ago

Why not fix them the right way, rather than settling for leftovers? It’s not like trades are illegal.

Stevil
1 year 7 months ago

It’s not just sabermetrics! He’s admittedly sacrificed defense intentionally in the pursuit of power, ignoring even the most basic statistics. Park factors, K’s, contact and zone percentages, etc. Through one ear and out the other!

Rangerbourne
1 year 6 months ago

Heard you the first time.

Stevil
1 year 6 months ago

Good for you.

Stevil
1 year 7 months ago

It’s not just sabermetrics! He’s admittedly sacrificed defense intentionally in the pursuit of power, ignoring even the most basic statistics. Park factors, K’s, contact and zone percentages, etc. Through one ear and out the other!

Stevil
1 year 7 months ago

He’d likely be replacing Saunders as things stand right now–assuming Guti is healthy.