Orioles Still In On Cruz, Morales

Even after giving up a first-round draft choice to add one of the premier free agents still available in starter Ubaldo Jimenez, the Orioles could still sign another player tied to compensation, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN.com. The club remains in on both Nelson Cruz and Kendrys Morales.

Indeed, as executive VP Dan Duquette recently noted (via Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports), "if you do one, I think that makes the second one easier, frankly." In large part, the reason for that stance is that Baltimore would pay a relatively meager price in terms of draft compensation. Having already given up the 17th overall choice and traded the team's competitive balance pick (currently, 33rd overall), the O's would now only need to part with their second-round choice (52nd overall as of today), as well as its slot value of just over $1MM.

According to Rosenthal (via Twitter), the Orioles appear more interested in Cruz than Morales. While both players have their limitations defensively, Cruz is capable of playing the outfield, while Morales is limited to first (or, depending upon who one asks, designated hitter). Of course, the latter offers a switch-hitting option while Cruz only bats right-handed. 

41 Responses to Orioles Still In On Cruz, Morales Leave a Reply

  1. ba9oriole 1 year ago

    Please let it be Kendrys Morales and not Nelson Cruz.

    • Wooooooo 1 year ago

      I’m with you on that one!

      • Tony Matias 1 year ago

        Please… take them both. Don’t want either in Seattle.

        • ba9oriole 1 year ago

          Morales has a career 1.177 OPS in 50 plate appearances at Camden Yards. Not too shabby.

          • Lefty_Orioles_Fan
            Lefty_Orioles_Fan 1 year ago

            Well, Cruz loves Fenway Park.
            And for the past three years .908 at the Yard
            Wish, I could find lifetime #’s but I can’t
            However, I do know MLB Tonight has Cruz’s OPS in the top 5 for the past few season in active players.

          • Leon Barry 1 year ago

            Cruz is a lifetime 1.125 in 41 games at Fenway and .936 in 41 games at Camden.

          • Rabbitov 1 year ago

            It was definitely not in the top 5 for the past few seasons.

            Doing a very quick internet search, here is 5 better in the last 3 years:

            Cruz .808

            Longoria .856
            Pujols .853
            Adam Jones .813
            Miguel Cabrera 1.036
            Josh Hamilton .848

            Not to mention the PED stuff. Jimenez I didn’t want to give the pick up for, Cruz I just straight up don’t want to sign.

          • Lefty_Orioles_Fan
            Lefty_Orioles_Fan 1 year ago

            They said something to the effect
            It was like a month ago, maybe longer.
            It was either OPS or Slugging.
            Anyway, my point is I hear you with the PED’s
            I feel very strongly about it too.
            I would just have in the contract language, if you fail the league test, you not only get the league mandated 100 games, but you are off the team and no more pay. You are a free agent, but we won’t be paying you another nickel.
            I wonder if he would do it. I would rather have Cruz over Morales. Now what will actually happen, I have no idea!

          • Rabbitov 1 year ago

            Slugging is very possible. Why would you rather do Cruz over Morales? Our glaring issue is our inability to get on base and Cruz doesn’t help that at all.

          • Lefty_Orioles_Fan
            Lefty_Orioles_Fan 1 year ago

            For one thing Morales would clog the bases.
            Cruz used to have some speed.
            With his knee, who knows.
            Overall, I think Cruz is the better player and fit.
            If we could have traded for Morales last season, maybe I would feel differently. M’s didn’t want to trade him at that time, and now, I am not interested.
            For whatever reason, I am willing to give Cruz another chance.

          • T.J. McFarland's Mustache 1 year ago

            Right, but that’s batting against Orioles pitches… haha

        • Bernard Middlebrook 1 year ago

          Why wouldn’t you want Morales? Best hitter on the team last year. What were you watching?!?!?!

          • Tony Matias 1 year ago

            14mm+ per year for a .270 avg with little ability to play 1st and can’t run and who will only be used as a DH for a team that has several already. Yeah… sounds like a great idea to me.

        • Maxxx Depth 1 year ago

          Huh?? Who in that lineup can do damage??Besides Cano..

    • Daniel Morairity 1 year ago

      cruz to the mariners and morales to the rangers and moreland to the buccos via trade

  2. Mitchell Toland Jr. 1 year ago

    Morales is the better option, imo. Much younger, switch hitter, can spell Davis at first. For the long term I’d rather they get him.

    • Michael Brokos 1 year ago

      Almost everyone can spell Davis, it’s one of the easiest and most recognizable last names in America.

      • BRigney61 1 year ago

        Actually not EVERYONE could “spell” Davis at first. Nice to have some humor !

      • Mitchell Toland Jr. 1 year ago

        Well played Michael, well played.

      • Rabbitov 1 year ago

        Thanks a lot for making me spit out my milk.

    • Hoosier_Oriole 1 year ago

      As would I

      Go O’s!

  3. Seamaholic 1 year ago

    Cruz’ defensive deficiencies are way overrated. He’s definitely a negative there, but in RF he doesn’t cost you very much at all. Especially in a small park.

    • T.J. McFarland's Mustache 1 year ago

      He wouldn’t play RF for the Orioles… well at least not the 2014 Orioles.

    • bjsguess 1 year ago

      He will cost you anywhere from 7 to 10 runs in RF … if he manages to play 150 or so games.

    • Hoosier_Oriole 1 year ago

      Nah!, wouldn’t cost ya much at all in RF. After all, he only cost the Rangers a World Series title in RF by making one of the worst misplays of a line drive this man has ever seen. He certainly couldn’t replace Markakis, and frankly, I’d take any of our other LF options over Cruz.

      Go O’s!

  4. Tom 1 year ago

    May as well, the pipeline looks dry from an offensive perspective…

  5. Rangerbourne 1 year ago

    But Cruz is a former Ranger, so he HAS to go to Baltimore

    • Meh Sheep 1 year ago

      Because the Orioles have 3 former Rangers on their 40 man roster, 2 of which came in the same trade. Davis, Hunter, O’day.

  6. Phishfan52 1 year ago

    I’d take either over a platoon of Young & Urrutia, Let Urrutia prove him can hit in the minors and don’t rush him and Young is alot better as a right handed bat off the bench and spot starts. Platooning last year was a big mistake and one I don’t want to see repeated.

    • Tom_McAllister 1 year ago

      Urrutia hit .347 last year between AA and AAA, with a .913 OPS. This after being away from the game and in Haiti for a year, where conditions weren’t all that great. He also hit .276 in Baltimore. Hitting is not Henry’s problem – it’s his defense and base running that need work. If we don’t sign Morales or Cruz, I think a platoon of Urrutia and Young/Pearce/Reimold will be pretty decent.

  7. DaBirds 1 year ago

    I don’t see why the O’s and Mariners don’t make a deal Smoak for Bud Norris. It makes sense for both teams if ask me. Then the Mariners can resign Morales and still help their rotation. Smoak can DH and back up Davis at first.

    • Charlie Burns 1 year ago

      Smoak is better as defensive option over being a DH honestly. His hitting is…off to say the least.

    • Jordan 1 year ago

      You must be a Mariners fan, it makes NO sense at all for the O’s to do that. Hence just signing a starting pitcher there is finally a rotation that fans/players can be happy with. Why trade Norris and now your looking for another starter back to problem one. Sign Cruz plug him at DH behind Davis and call it a day.

  8. gmantacoma 1 year ago

    Come on Baltimore – now you need to sign a full time DH!

  9. Damon Bowman 1 year ago

    I’m not interested in either one, but if it has to be, let it be Morales. Yes he’s limited in the field, but I trust him to stay healthier over the course of a 2- or 3-year deal than Cruz. I’ve shouted this for months now — Cruz has only logged a single season with more than 130 games. Now that the PEDs are off the table for him, I can all but guarantee his body will fall apart quickly. I’ll be shocked if he’s still playing after 2016.

    • marinest21 1 year ago

      I’d agree if the O’s planned to use him in the field, but given the glaring spot at DH, I think he’d be reasonably healthy over the course of three years if they played him predominately there. Nelly has only played 30 games at DH in his entire career, logging only 110 AB’s – which amounts to about 4% of his career total. Yeah, he’s been hurt constantly over the years but I’d argue it’s more due to his body being unable to handle being an outfielder and not necessarily an indicator of his overall future health. If the Sox can do it with Oritz – also a former PED user who has had a lengthy injury history – the O’s could do it with Cruz. He’s only 33, I’d give him money to be a productive DH through his 33-35 years.

      • Damon Bowman 1 year ago

        “Not necessarily an indicator of his overall future health.”
        Are you kidding? How can you say it isn’t all but guaranteed that Cruz will spend time on the DL when he’s only played a single full season in 13 years as a professional ballplayer? I understand you believe that because he was forced into playing OF it took a toll on his body and the wear and tear will be less if he’s a full-time DH, but be realistic. If he hasn’t been able to play more than one full season in 13 years of minor league and MLB games you can’t expect anything but him breaking down — especially since PEDs are known to affect how the body ages once they’re removed from your system.

        • marinest21 1 year ago

          I never said Cruz won’t spend time on the DL, but what I am saying is that the chances are significantly higher he will be healthy (and worth a 3 year deal) if he is primarily a DH. This isn’t an absurd notion, not even in the slightest. Players at his age (and even younger) who are susceptible to injury are constantly transitioned to positions that produce less wear and tear and subsequently make improvements in offensive production. Again, look at my example of Ortiz who is a former PED user with an injury history who has resurrected the twilight of his career. Look at Frank Thomas, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray, Jim Thome, Dave Winfield, even Jose Canseco if you want to get controversial. Look at Mauer switching to 1B for the Twins as a preventative approach. All switched to DH or less strenuous positions later in their careers (some when they were 40 or close to it) and experienced far more consistent health and production.

          Sure, we won’t know how Nelson’s body will react post-PEDs. But we do know 96% of his career has been spent in the field. Taking an extra 130 games off per season from playing defense should give his body some rejuvenation if not longevity.

  10. Damon Bowman 1 year ago

    I’m not interested in either one, but if it has to be, let it be Morales. Yes he’s limited in the field, but I trust him to stay healthier over the course of a 2- or 3-year deal than Cruz. I’ve shouted this for months now — Cruz has only logged a single season with more than 130 games. Now that the PEDs are off the table for him, I can all but guarantee his body will fall apart quickly. I’ll be shocked if he’s still playing after 2016.

  11. Anthony 1 year ago

    I am pretty sure Morales has the better swing. After last year’s suspension, It is a good bet Cruz will be closely monitored, not sure he will be the same Cruz as the previous 5 years. A little more prime in Kendrys, Cruz is 33 and Morales is 30. Fun Fact: Cruz was DFA in 2008 and cleared waivers.

  12. Nashville_Os_Fan 1 year ago

    I remember when he was right once

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