Orioles Sign Nelson Cruz

The Orioles continued what has been an incredibly busy seven-day span by announcing the signing of slugger Nelson Cruz to a one-year deal. Cruz's contract contains a base salary of $8MM, plus $750K in incentives — a disappointing outcome for a player who declined a $14.1MM qualifying offer from the Rangers and at one point reportedly sought a four-year, $75MM deal. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that Cruz rejected two- and three-year offers this offseason, although the timeline of those offers is unclear. Cruz is represented by the Wasserman Media Group.


Cruz, 33, hit .266/.327/.506 in 456 plate appearances in 2013. A 50-game suspension for his connection to the Biogenesis scandal shortened his season. As MLBTR's Steve Adams noted in profiling Cruz in early November, however, that didn't stop Rangers manager Ron Washington from offering praise for Cruz as a teammate and a clubhouse presence.

The Rangers will now receive what is currently the No. 30 overall pick in the 2014 draft as a result of Cruz signing elsewhere. The Orioles, meanwhile, will sacrifice the No. 55 pick. Losing the No. 17 pick when they struck a deal with Ubaldo Jimenez likely made it easier for the Orioles to sign Cruz, since they would no longer have to give up a first-round draft choice in order to do so. In addition to Cruz and Jimenez, the Orioles have also signed Korean righty Suk-min Yoon to a three-year deal in the past week.

The Cruz deal is another win-now move for the Orioles, who are trying to build on an 85-win 2013 season and string together more wins before the potential departures of Chris Davis and Matt Wieters following the 2015 season. Cruz will serve as the Orioles' primary designated hitter, and he will also likely occasionally see time in the outfield. The transition to Camden Yards and the other hitter-friendly parks of the AL East should be a good move for Cruz, whose drastic home/road splits have drawn some criticism this offseason.

Of the remaining free agents, Cruz's pact with the Orioles most obviously affects Kendrys Morales. The Orioles reportedly had interest in Morales, so now the already-small number of interested bidders for Morales appears to be even smaller. Also, Cruz signing for one year and $8MM will likely make it even more difficult for Morales, a similar player, to get a sizeable deal.

The size of the deal will also likely increase skepticism throughout baseball about the qualifying offer process. That Cruz received so little was surely due in part to the fact that he had draft-pick forfeiture attached, and one year and $8MM is by far the smallest contract to which a qualifying offer player has agreed.

Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes first reported that the two sides had reached an agreement after CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that they were closing in on a deal.

Steve Adams contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

241 Responses to Orioles Sign Nelson Cruz Leave a Reply

  1. monroe_says 1 year ago

    Great news! …. for the Mariners.

    • DinosSavedMammals 1 year ago

      Because Logan Morrison and Corey Hart will be the missing pieces towards a championship run right? Cruz will have a better season than both.

      • North 1 year ago

        Cruz can barely move his legs at a decent pace in the direction he wants them to go. His value is limited because he doesn’t move his lower limbs. Morrison is younger, cheaper, and can move better. Hart doesn’t have compensation attached and is likely better if healthy (which he appears to be).

        • DinosSavedMammals 1 year ago

          Hart and Morrison can’t stay healthy. They’re cheaper and don’t have compensation for a reason. Morrison was expendable in Miami with their depth/ missing half the season twice and harts knees won’t last 100 games even at DH. At least Cruz can give you health and a bat.

        • Holy Smokes 1 year ago

          This almost sounds like he needs a walker to get around the bases.

          • Zak Arn 1 year ago

            Montero probably will have to steal a Wal-mart scooter to get around the bases.

    • Silab Garza 7 months ago


  2. Daysauce Ouyang 1 year ago

    Unbelievable to think early in the offseason.

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      Not really. He way overextended himself. He really isn’t that good of a player.

  3. Aramis Ramirez' Basement 1 year ago

    Wow i’m really happy for Oriole fans. They needed a couple big moves. Great work Dan.

  4. Edouble86 1 year ago

    O’s were stalled all offseason, and are now in Cruz control the past week.

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan 1 year ago

      I see what you did here!
      Also, you are right the Orioles are rolling now.
      I like the Deal and I like Cruz! Quite frankly, I am excited about the season!
      Hopefully, everyone stays healthy and happy!

  5. Booker Smith 1 year ago

    Amazing deal for the O’s… Nelly will be incentivized to perform, and he’ll kill it in that stadium. Definitely worth the no. 55 pick. One of the best moves of the offseason.

  6. GoRav114 1 year ago

    I wanted morales and Santana, they got Cruz and Jimenez. I get it and as a fan I’m still excited cause at least they got better this offseason. They made a smart decision to forfeit the 52 pick. If Cruz is good on the one year deal the orioles can make him a qualifying offer and get back either a higher draft pick or another year. If he is bad the money is off the books and they can get the extension done for davis.

    • rikersbeard 1 year ago

      Why did you want Santana over Jimenez?

      • GoRav114 1 year ago

        They both had a down year in 2012 but overall I think Santana is a safer bet, more consistent, over 200 innings 5 years, only 30. I like the Jubaldo signing but he walks way to many batters and the AL East hitters are very patient.

      • PWNdroia 1 year ago

        They can still sign Santana…

        • Revery 1 year ago

          I can definitely see this happening with a Kyle Lohse 3/33 type contract. And now you just lose a third round pick. It is a great way to go for it.

  7. PittsburghPirates0022 1 year ago

    Only for 8 million. Steal for Cruz and his powerful bat.

  8. Christopher A. Otto 1 year ago

    Cruz gets very little out of this. I wonder if he sought/received a clause guaranteeing the Orioles cannot make him a QO. Otherwise he could end up in same tough position next winter, too. If he can (1) have a great season, (2) get unhinged from compensation, then he could get perhaps $42M next winter.

    • monroe_says 1 year ago

      such a clause would violate the current CBA

      • Gnotorious 1 year ago

        Would such a clause violate the CBA? I think Beltran had a clause like that a few years ago. I know the CBA changed but I wasn’t sure if that specific issue had been addressed.

        • Ethan Purdy 1 year ago

          Prior to this current CBA qualifying offers didn’t exist. It was a very different structure.

          • Gnotorious 1 year ago

            They did exist, just not in this form. In the previous CBA if a team offered a QO and the player turned it down, they became either a Type A or Type B free agent and the team singing them would lose their draft pick to the team losing the player.

      • LazerTown 1 year ago

        Does not mean there can’t be a handshake agreement. It does seem like his deal is peculiarly small.

    • psabella 1 year ago

      If he gets a QO next year of 14 mil, good for him and he should take it as a 34 year old and then again as a 35 year old because he will not get a multi-year anywhere close.to 14 mil annual.

  9. GD 1 year ago

    Wow…the 1st player this offseason to sign a contract for what FanGraphs values him as. I never thought it’d go that low. That is a great signing for the O’s to add a 30-40 HR guy. With how much they saved they maybe able to still sign Morales to DH (I doubt it though, but adding those 2 bats in Baltimore would be a killer lineup). I’m no O’s fan, but would Love O’s to overtake Yankees and BoSox and win this division!

    • rikersbeard 1 year ago

      Pretty sure Cruz will be the DH.

    • ghaf22 1 year ago

      I think this definitely gives the orioles a shot at the division, they were a borderline solid team without making any major moves this off season, but I think this definitely makes them much more of a threat. I’m a yanks fan, but having the o’s in the mix should make this a very interesting division. I just feel bad for Toronto fans….

    • 30-40 HR guy? Cruz has only hit 30 home runs ONCE in his career. And that was with PED’s!

      • Meh Sheep 1 year ago

        Hit 44 total in 2008 if you count the 37 at AAA, hit 33 in 2009, and hit 32 in 2011 if you count his 3 in minor league rehab. But your point is valid anyway and about the PEDs though he probably only did them the one time they had evidence just like everyone else.

    • PWNdroia 1 year ago

      Just out of curiosity, where is this fan graphs source? How do they rate players?

  10. GD 1 year ago

    How much you think Morales will go for now in Seattle?

    • GD 1 year ago

      With limited Defense I can’t see how Morales will go for more than that. “If” Seattle could get Morales for $7-8m/yr I would go out 3 years and $21-24m on Morales as Seattle’s DH. We are talking Boras though with Morales.

      • livingpaint 1 year ago

        yep, Bloomquist on Boras got 5.8 mill… Morales will command a lot more than that…

  11. Karkat 1 year ago

    Wow, it’s almost like Cruz should’ve accepted the Qualifying Offer all along……

  12. slasher016 1 year ago

    It’s time to go back to the drawing board on QO. They still aren’t working. They just need to give compensation without giving up a draft pick, or these players will continually be hurt by the system. Good for the O’s though, but it’s also good for the Rangers.

    • rikersbeard 1 year ago

      True, but it was supposed to help competitive balance. It was supposed to penalize the teams that “buy up” all of the good FAs.

    • The system isn’t broken because players like Cruz didn’t get 75. He could’ve accepted the 14 million dollar offer. He’s not an elite player who didn’t deserve a big contract.

      • Revery 1 year ago

        Completely agreed. Now that a handful of guys went into ST without contracts, it has to be a lesson to agents and future free agents. If baseball keeps this system, guys will have to realize they have been de facto franchised.

        • I don’t really think that it would be a case of being franchised since most of these players in limbo aren’t worth annual salaries of 14 million. The problem is that since no one has accepted a QO, there’s not as much risk in offering it.

      • Wednesday 1 year ago

        Exactly! I don’t think he deserved 14.1 and I’m not sure he deserves 8, but the QO offer should help teams keep their players. It guarantees a strong deal for people who want to stay. If someone is worth a big multi-year deal elsewhere, they’ll get it. If they want out of an organization, they’ll get out. Just because some marginal talent got big heads and entered spring training without a contract isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the game or the fans or the players as a collective.

    • psabella 1 year ago

      Cruz got hurt, but not by the system. He turned down 14 mil and that is on him. The market paid him fair value of 8 mil. Where is the problem?

    • PWNdroia 1 year ago

      If you call getting 8 million dollars to play baseball being “hurt by the system.”

    • Ruthlessly Absurd 1 year ago

      Yeah I just don’t get how a player who turned down more than he’s worth and ended up signing a contract for what’s he’s worth shows the system isn’t working

    • Meh Sheep 1 year ago

      Those who get less that the QO should perhaps consider other agents.

    • Damon Bowman 1 year ago

      In the case of Nelson Cruz, you could not be more wrong. The system did nothing to his value and what he received. He was crushed by an extremely foolish decision to turn down a qualifying offer. Coming off of a 50-game suspension was the time to take the QO and prove that he was still healthy and worth more when it came time to find a deal for 2015 and beyond. The same holds true for Steven Drew if he ends up signing for less than the QO. The $14 million deal for ’14 would have been a steal for him and he made a bad decision. It’s not the system — it’s the arrogance or foolishness of the player and his reps.

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      Why is it broken?

      He turned down an offer that at the time still seemed too high. In what world is Nelson Cruz worth more than $14M a year?

    • slasher016 1 year ago

      It’s amazing how little people get it. His value was directly hurt with the draft pick compensation attached. There was only a handful of teams willing to bid because of it. You don’t think the small market teams reliant on draft picks wouldn’t have signed him for $8M? Hell the main reason the Orioles were willing to do it was because they already lost their first round pick. Yes, he could have absolutely taken 14.1 million, but you have to decide so quickly that it’s hard to know what you’re going to get when the market bears out.

  13. Dbacksfan44 1 year ago

    Good signing for Orioles

  14. FOmeOLS 1 year ago

    Who do the Rangers get #30, and the Orioles lose #55?
    Don’t the Rangers just get the Orioles’ second round pick, which is currently #55?

    • slasher016 1 year ago

      No they changed that, you always get a pick after the first round now (supplemental round.)

    • Shawn Baublitz 1 year ago

      Rangers get a supplemental draft pick for Cruz. No matter which pick the signing team loses.

  15. MadmanTX 1 year ago

    Bet the Rangers would have taken Cruz back to DH for one year at 4 or 5 mil. Kind of a little overpay at 8.

    • GRN_ 1 year ago

      The Rangers offered him 14 million

    • slasher016 1 year ago

      They were willing to take him back for $14.1M . . . hence the qualifying offer.

      • Daniel Franklin 1 year ago

        That was before signing Choo and trading for Fielder…

    • gw9999 1 year ago

      8MM for 25 HR and 80 RBI won’t seem to bad when you compare to last year’s DH expense or what the team will see from 550 or so Moreland atbats.

      • Charlie Burns 1 year ago

        Moreland averages off around 20 or so homers with 68 RBIs at a little over 2 million this season. I think the Rangers still have the better deal over Cruz.

        • Todd Smith 1 year ago

          Moreland is only in his first year of arbitration. Not really a valid comparison.

  16. Dave Traverso 1 year ago

    A complete steal! Way to get played Rube … who would you take Byrd @ 2/$16 or Cruz @ 1/$8, no brainer. Kudos to the Orioles

    • GRN_ 1 year ago

      Did Byrd cost a draft pick though?

      • Dave Traverso 1 year ago

        Very strong point, but the Phils have a protected first round pick. I think anyone in our town would prefer to give up that 2nd rd pick (especially since our track record is so poor) to have one less year of a commitment to a better 5 hole hitter

        • gmantacoma 1 year ago

          would you have been happy if your GM had not signed Byrd and then done nothing else up to this point while waiting for Cruz’s price to come down?
          Cruz obviously would not have signed this contract back when Byrd signed his.

          • Dave Traverso 1 year ago

            I would prefer they never signed Byrd at all. He’s a prime candidate for a regression and I’d rather take my chances with with the young buck Darin Ruf’s .800+ OPS unless I could get Cruz. Would have also been interested in Morse too

          • gmantacoma 1 year ago

            WelI I agree with that, Darin Ruf needs to play. He still may have an opportunity to shine, especially if you are right about the birdman.
            OR you could trade Ruf to the M’s!
            I don’t think you want Morse, he is not that good and to fragile.

      • DinosSavedMammals 1 year ago

        I don’t believe Byrd cost a pick. He was traded mid season to Pitt and I believe once traded teams cannot extend qualifying offers .

  17. GD 1 year ago

    I’m curious what Seattle’s offer to Cruz was now?! I was pretty sure that Seattle was at 2yrs with a 3rd option year…maybe that was all rumor/talk going on?!

  18. GD 1 year ago

    Boras has got to be fuming with this Cruz deal…trying to get Morales as much as possible. This is definitely good news for Seattle landing Morales on a decent deal now.

    • LordOfTheSwings 1 year ago

      Do they really need another 1B/DH type player, with Hart, L. Morrison and Smoak already there (although of course Hart and Morrison can also play LF/RF)?

      • GD 1 year ago

        Seattle is going to run with Hart in RF as much as he can handle it. Morrison can be used at LF/1B, yes we have Smoak too against RHPs, but Morales would still fit very nicely at DH in my opinion

  19. psabella 1 year ago

    Looks like a good sign for the O’s. The conspiracy folks will be out saying how the QO killed his value when in fact he signed for what looks to be fair market value according to some including fangraphs and the estimated 6 mil per WAR..

    • GD 1 year ago

      You are right! This is right where he “should” be in salary value, but in todays market and the inflated MLB money O’s still got a steal!

  20. GD 1 year ago

    I”m Shocked! I swore Seattle’s offer was for multiple years and for more annually than this. WOW O’s great job!

  21. GrilledCheese39 1 year ago

    Now the Orioles will sign Drew and Morales! Just kidding, although that would be a killer lineup..

    • GD 1 year ago

      Why now now since they’ve pretty much given up on the 2014 draft.

  22. LordOfTheSwings 1 year ago

    Great deal for the O’s… they’re ready to compete. Detroit and Seattle could have really used Cruz, possibly more than Baltimore (especially Seattle).

    • Stuart Brown 1 year ago

      For Detroit it would’ve been a very marginal upgrade if there was any upgrade at all.

      • LordOfTheSwings 1 year ago

        Well, I’d say Detroit’s main needs right now are a power bat and position players who can perform in the playoffs, and Cruz is both of those things.
        Obviously he’d be a downgrade in the field, but I think Cruz’s particular skill set would be much more valuable to the Tigers than Dirks

        • Stuart Brown 1 year ago

          We’ll have to see what happens, but the Tigers haven’t had a ton of power since the first three years of Leyland being there and they’ve been pretty solid. I don’t see them being completely power sapped like the 2010 team, and they offer more speed-wise than any Tigers’ team in recent memory.

          And you have to remember that Dirks is likely half of a platoon with Davis. Certainly you’d prefer to have one player provide the same production that two can, but what they have offers more versatility, better defense, and potentially equal offensive contribution thanks to OBP and speed.

  23. Drunk Richard 1 year ago

    Great lineup protection for Chis Davis – I assume they think they can re-coup the pick by making him a QO is 2015(?)

    • raffish 1 year ago

      Probably don’t want to do that. He’ll never be worth a QO again.

  24. Altodo Woowoo 1 year ago

    Wish the NL had a DH

  25. raymondrobertkoenig 1 year ago

    Boras never would’ve settled for this deal.

    • GD 1 year ago

      So what is your estimate now with Morales/Boras contract?

  26. raffish 1 year ago

    Yes! Go mariners!

    • GD 1 year ago

      Yeah but for 1yr $8m? I would have taken Cruz in Seattle and his 30-40 HRs.

      • monroe_says 1 year ago

        Cruz hasn’t hit 30 HRs since 2009 and despite the pulled in fence, he would be unlikely to pull that feat off in Seattle.

      • $3513744 1 year ago

        that’s assuming he would’ve signed the same deal with Seattle.

  27. Alex Conn 1 year ago

    Being a Mariners fan, I didn’t want Cruz… knowing they won’t sign him – The M’s better get together and bring in another bat for 2014.

    • GD 1 year ago

      We need to land Morales bat in my opinion. There’s noway Morales goes for more than Cruz with even less defensive value than Cruz, but Seattle would be wise to give Morales a 3 yr deal at Cruz’s annual price…or even at $21m/3yr

      • Alex Conn 1 year ago

        I am a huge fan of Morales. Always have been and would love to have him for a few years. Seager, Cano, Hart, Morales – Those 4 names look pretty good together.

  28. Longdistance O'S fan 1 year ago

    I’LL take some of his 2012 numbers as in 90 RBI’S…..GO O’S

  29. Steve Kinsella 1 year ago

    The size of the deal will also likely increase skepticism throughout baseball about the qualifying offer process. — No, the qualifying offer process does not need to be evaluated – the agents who convince an aging slugger, with poor home/road splits, declining on-base skills, no ability to play defense, poor baserunning, and coming off a PED suspension – to turn down $14.1M — especially after compiling 3 years of fWAR around 1.3, 1.1, and 1.5 –

  30. burnboll 1 year ago

    8 mil plus incentives is a steal for Cruz. Plus they get to offer him a QO next year.

    • It’s actually not really a steal, it’s just about what he’s worth. Unless he has a big year, he’ll accept the QO lest he go through this nightmare again.

  31. Aaron Johnson 1 year ago

    I much preferred Morales to Cruz, however, after the terms of this deal I see that this is a great signing. I hope what happened is that Morales is still holding out for more years and dollars and not that the O’s just preferred Cruz outright. I would be happy to see Morales sign elsewhere for 3/42 and justify my hope. Either way, I had no idea Cruz could be had on a 1 year deal and especially not for only 8 mil! To be honest, I wonder now if they can make another cheap run at Ervin Santana as well.

    • GD 1 year ago

      Boras might still get a 3 yr deal for Morales, but it’s only gonna be in the $21-$24m range, and only Seattle would go that distance.

    • TD272 1 year ago

      I can’t imagine Morales will get anything close to 3/42. He’ll be lucky to get half that at this point.

  32. John Kreese 1 year ago

    He must have really not wanted to play in Seattle.

    Good move for the O’s though. He should have a solid season in a contract year.

  33. orangeoctober 1 year ago

    i wouldve rather them signed morales, but this is a pretty good steal for the orioles. im anxious to see what morales signs for.

  34. Harrison 1 year ago

    Terrible move. I would’ve rather handed the DH job to Delmon Young or Nolan Reimold.

    • orangeoctober 1 year ago

      except neither of them are very good

      • Harrison 1 year ago

        Much like Nelson Cruz.

        • orangeoctober 1 year ago

          you think delmon young or nolan reimold are better than nelson cruz? a washed up former top pick, and a guy who’s going to be on the DL within the first 60 days of the season. urrutia is better than either of them. they might as well spend the nationals MASN money while they have it.

          • Meh Sheep 1 year ago

            Reimold could be if he ever stayed healthy. He has shown flashes. He was the best hitter on the Orioles in 2012 before he got hurt at the end of April. OPS+ 154. Also his 2009 and 2011 numbers if he had played the whole season would project into Cruz territory and his defense is better if needed.

          • Harrison 1 year ago

            No, but I think they’re close enough to post-PEDs Cruz that I would’ve just kept the draft pick and put the $8 million into a Hardy extension.

          • Seamaholic 1 year ago

            Cruz’ PED use was a couple years ago. Give me a break. It is irrelevant now.

          • gmantacoma 1 year ago

            His PED use is relevant.
            I don’t know of any player that has been totally honest and forthcoming about their steroid use.
            Coming off steroid use increases breakdown of tissue in the body, increasing ageing and injury risk.

        • Nick Costanza 1 year ago

          I don’t like Cruz either, but…

          Projected wRC+ for Cruz: 113
          Delmon Young: 95 (a below average hitter at DH…great suggestion there)
          Nolan Reimold: 87 (see above)

          We were so ready to pan any Cruz contract, since he was seemingly overrated, but this is actually a bargain. He IS a good hitter and if he plays DH his defensive woes won’t be seen.

  35. $2509879 1 year ago

    Mets giving Chris Young $7.25 mil looks REALLY bad now!

    • tacko 1 year ago

      Young was the slightest of overpays but comes with much better defense, youth, and better offense (Young’s bat > a PED-less Cruz’s bat).

      • tacko 1 year ago

        EDIT: not to mention Young came without the cost of a draft pick.

      • TD272 1 year ago

        Chris Young was a significant overpay. He plays good defense but his bat is terrible. HIs BA and OBP have declined 4 straight years – and they weren’t good to begin with.

  36. $2509879 1 year ago

    Now if the O’s only had a closer like Balfour, they’d have a shot at finishing higher than 4th.

  37. AmericanMovieFan 1 year ago

    It must sting that Melky Cabrera got twice the guaranteed money and years than Cruz, despite their similar controversies and disparate numbers.

    • GRN_ 1 year ago

      Melky didn’t have the burdern of the QO attached though or the Jays likely wouldn’t have even entertained that offer.

  38. bobmac 1 year ago

    Ervin Santana made the mistake of hiring Wasserman Media as his agent. Wasserman’s expertise is representing soccer players and it shows with their clueless approach with Santana.

  39. BFunkTwins 1 year ago

    i think it is fair to give him a one year under market contract after coming of a drug suspension and having no defensive ability. the orioles made a great signing here and cruz gets a chance to truly prove himself clean to re-establish his value for next year while the o’s get a great bat for the DH spot for half of what it could have cost. win-win here i think.

    • Meh Sheep 1 year ago

      Could wind up being another Vlad Guerrero $8 million toilet flush like the O’s did in 2011. Will find out how much the post-PED drop off is.

  40. sackseph 1 year ago

    Fantastic deal by the O’s. AL East Competition will be fierce this season

  41. charles 1 year ago

    Seattle just resign Morales already. you missed out on Cruz.

    • Jonathan Barlock 1 year ago

      Id rather have us sign Morales than Cruz anyways.

  42. MilkMeMore 1 year ago

    scott boras must of asked too much again lol poor kendry

  43. UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

    Really surprised that Cruz went for a 1 year deal even more so that it was just for $8MM. The O’s got a good deal here. I’d guess that Cruz and the O’s have a handshake agreement that the O’s will NOT make Cruz a QO at the end of the 2014 season.

    I also have to admit that I’m more surprised that the Mariners didn’t jump on Cruz if he was willing to settle for the type of deal he got from the O’s. Some Seattle fans might take issue with the following but it appears to me that the Mariners seem content at this point to make Cano there really only significant FA signing this winter.

  44. ice_hawk10 1 year ago

    There’s no way Cruz will be worth a $14mill+ QO next offseason

    • snowbladerp14 1 year ago

      i see it as more a 2/22 million deal if they offer him the QO next offseason

    • bryan 1 year ago

      If he hits 20+ HR then yes it is worth a QO

  45. driftcat28 1 year ago

    This is bittersweet for me as a Yankee fan. I’m happy the M’s didn’t sign it, that way Robby has even less to work with in Seattle and he’ll regret the decision even sooner. Bad because it does make the O’s and even bigger threat in the East. I still see them as a 4th-3rd place finish but it’ll be a lot more interesting now.

    • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

      I think Cruz does make the O’s better offensively but I’m not sure it’s by as much as you may think and defensively he’s a real liability.

      • Stuart Brown 1 year ago

        Luckily, the Orioles had a relatively glaring hole at DH before this signing and Showalter has stated that he prefers an everyday DH. I’ve no idea if there’s any news on whether they plan to primarily use him there, but that seems the logical choice unless they also plan on signing Morales. However, defensively, an outfield of Cruz, Jones, and Markakis is not very sound going by the statistics that we have available.

        • Harrison 1 year ago

          David Lough will be the everyday LF for his speed and defense, with Cruz DHing most of the time.

          • Stuart Brown 1 year ago

            Right on, I forgot they had acquired Lough.

      • bryan 1 year ago

        Since when is he playing defense? He will be full time DH

    • Curt Green 1 year ago

      A little bitter to be on the other end of a free agent signing, are we? Now you Yankee fans know how it feels. Yeah, Cano will have a lot of regret with that contract.

  46. Wednesday 1 year ago

    Isn’t this how the QO process is supposed to work? Keep players with their teams 14.1 mil is nothing to sneeze at and I have no idea why people on this site seem to think that players of the caliber of Cruz or K. Morales are worth anything near 14.1 let alone a monster deal.

  47. Jeffy25 1 year ago

    See if they can get morales and Santana now. Go for it.

    I don’t recall if they have any dead weight salary or not. But sign everyone to a one year deal if they will.

    Good job o’s. Cruz looks pretty foolish here

    • bryan 1 year ago

      I’d rather they spend that money on a JJ Hardy extension

  48. Mike1L 1 year ago

    I’m a little surprised that this is the extent of his market. Probably a good signing by the O’s. He can hit, and if the reason he was hitting was simply because of PEDS they haven’t spent all that much money. And if he can hit, but the O’s are going no where, he can be flipped for a prospect later in the season..

  49. Tko11 1 year ago

    $8 million for one year is a great deal for the O’s. Morales must be drinking his sorrows away right about now, losing out on what will probably be around $6 million.

  50. Mitch Augustyn 1 year ago

    I was at Rangers game last June against the Oakland A’s. Watching Cruz he hit a solo hr early and then a 3 run shot and by the time the game was over he had hit 3 hrs. He has tremendous power and two years ago hit over 40 doubles. He sure gives the orioles that production they were lacking at LF and DH where ever they play him. Hard to find a right handed power hitter on the market. Yankees paid almost half that just not to have Vernon Wells on the team this year. Vernon Wells…he is no Nelson Cruz.

    • snowbladerp14 1 year ago

      If Cruz plays more than 30 games in the RF or LF id be shock he will be full time Dh unless lough struffles

  51. Jonathan Barlock 1 year ago

    Ok Mariners, time to stop sitting on your hands and sign Morales!

  52. snowbladerp14 1 year ago

    I see it like this Cruz does Amazing: The orioles can offer him a QO and if he signs its a 2/23ish milion dollar deal which still isnt crazy (since it means he played well). If he declines the orioles get a 1st round pick and a good player for 1 year 8 million.
    If it was all steroids and Cruz does terrible: the orioles lose a 2nd round draft pick but only spend 8 million and arent committed long term.

  53. basemonkey 1 year ago

    The Os waited out the market, and they ended up signing Ubaldo, Yoon, and Cruz at all relatively low prices, esp. considering the predicted contracts at the start of the off season. Ubaldo at 12.5M/YR? Or Cruz at 8? Wow

    • snowbladerp14 1 year ago

      got to see the effects of Cruz being off steroids and which Ubaldo we get but I am cautiously optimistic

  54. Jake13 1 year ago

    Giving up a first round pick for him is not smart, he is barely above a replacement level player

    • snowbladerp14 1 year ago

      they didnt give up a first round pick up for him they gave up a second round pick and can always offer a QO and pick up a first round pick for him instead

      • Jake13 1 year ago

        At his age and skill he will be accepting a QO next season, he knows that he won’t find anything better in the open market

        • snowbladerp14 1 year ago

          I mean if he earns a qualifying offer from the orioles that means he played well and I have no problem if he accepts it.

    • burnboll 1 year ago

      Whether it’s smart or not depends on what they pay him. If they would’ve paid him 15 mil per year, then no, giving up a pick isn’t smart.

      But when they pay him only 8 mil, it’s a bargain.

      Your flaw is that you do not put a value to the draft pick.

      • Jake13 1 year ago

        No I do value the pick, Nelson Cruz versus Reimold is really not a big difference. Not picking in the first 2 rounds could be disastrous to the farm system. Teams with great farm systems don’t sign QO free agents because they know how valuable high draft picks are.

    • GoRav114 1 year ago

      For Cruz it’s a second rounder, #52 overall. If the O’s than offer him a QO next season they would recoup most likely a better pick.

  55. marinest21 1 year ago

    Still provides some flexibility to pursue Santana or another player, which is nice. I forget where I read it, but someone mentioned the possibility of the O’s signing BOTH Morales and Cruz. Offensively that would be great, but it simultaneously exposes Cruz’s defensive and health liabilities (as he’d have to play predominately in the field), which is a huge concern.

    Moving forward I’d like to see the O’s offer a guy like Juan Pierre a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. I am not sold on Reimold, and although he’s pretty much a one-dimensional player, Pierre still possesses speed that is valuable in late-game scenarios. Maybe the Birds think Peguero possesses that ability, however.

    Also, why not offer minor league pacts to Johan Santana or even again to Jair Jurrjens? Granted Johan will not be healthy until May at the earliest, but given the extra money and the clear “win-now” mentality Angelos is pushing, there is nothing to lose.

    (Also forgot about David Lough, my bad.)

    • Tom_McAllister 1 year ago

      I would love to see the O’s offer Johan Santana and one of the rehabbing closers (Madson, Hanrahan, or Bailey) a deal. Closer is about the only spot that I feel is weak (2B being the other, though I am curious to see what Flaherty can do with a full-time gig).

  56. David Ross Jr. 1 year ago

    Good VALUE signing for sure(if Designated itter ONLY) as Cruz could get 25+ Dingers w/ BALT(NOT getting 25+ w/ SEA imo) Also not as good as Kendrys Morales but definitely serviceable batting after C.Davis…especially for just 1-yr/8mil and wanted 4/75…Remember Kids…PED’s REALLY ARE BAD!!!

    • John Kreese 1 year ago

      Tell that to Jhonny Peralta…

    • yclept 1 year ago

      If any team thought he was worth $75M, they would have given it to him….PEDs or no PEDs

  57. BBomber 1 year ago

    Orioles just stole Nelson Cruz, good job

  58. BBomber 1 year ago

    Next up Kendrys Morales and Ervin Santana. Did somebody send Angelos out of the country?

  59. letsgobucs 1 year ago

    I know that $8m is pretty much what the market dictated for Cruz, and I’m glad he went to Baltimore – a team with great fans and hungry for a winner. So long as the Orioles know what they are getting, a .260/25/85 guy AT BEST. Does anyone really see this guy hitting 30 HR again?

    • Tom_McAllister 1 year ago

      Since he has only ever hit 30 homers once, no. With power harder to come by, this is still a good deal. We could actually improve our draft pick from a 2 to a compensatory pick if Cruz declines the QO next year too.

    • burnboll 1 year ago

      Actually, Cruz will hit in more home run friendly ballparks. Camden is more or less like Arlington.

      But you have no Safeco in Al east. All ballparks except Tampa is real hitting friendly. And Tampa is alright.

      So I think 30 hrs is pretty likely.

      But the batting average will likely be real bad. .235?

    • Stuart Brown 1 year ago

      30 HR for Cruz is entirely dependent on his health. He’s really only played one full season (2012) and he hit 24 that season. Every other season he has played since becoming a regular he likely would’ve hit 30+ HR had he not been injured at some point.

    • GoRav114 1 year ago

      I think those numbers added to the Orioles lineup is worth 8 mil in todays baseball world. I personally expect about 25 homeruns with 90 rbi’s and am praying he can hit above .250. Camden Yards is a good doubles park so I look for his number of doubles to increase too

    • Andrew Ochs 1 year ago

      He hit 27 last year, while missing 50 games. And last year he was clean

  60. Ryan 1 year ago

    This makes that knee-jerk Marlon Byrd signing (2 years, $16M) look that much better.

    Bravo Rube (slow clap……..)

  61. Joe Valenti 1 year ago

    I wonder if they preferred Cruz or if he was just asking for less than Morales. Other than last year, Morales seems to have a slight edge as a hitter IMO

    • Jonathan Barlock 1 year ago

      Either that or maybe Morales preferred to return to t

    • GoRav114 1 year ago

      Sounds like Cruz kept coming back to the orioles trying to make a deal and when his number got to 8 it was much better than spending multiple years and higher annual value on Morales.

  62. Ben-Dessa Anderton 1 year ago

    Way to take less Nellie. Lol.

    • Maxxx Depth 1 year ago

      I think he was upset that Choo got his number…The last thing he wanted to do was come back, and take a different number! Poor choice.

  63. burnboll 1 year ago

    This deal make Lohse look overpaid.

  64. James Stevens 1 year ago

    So tired of the whining about how the FA QO system hurt poor Nelson Cruz. He is lucky to have the chance to make $8M since he is a PED user and should be removed from baseball. They all should, so I dont want to hear jack about how the system hurt him. Next time, do like ARod and Braun and get your big contract BEFORE you get caught, since it is clear baseball still won’t do anything to really stop PEDs. (like 1 year suspension first offense AND only being allowed to make league minimum for a year before becoming a true FA.

    Punish them in the wallet and they will get a little more serious.

    • Gary Orr 1 year ago

      Great stuff James. I agree with everything you said. These jokers need to learn a valuable lesso .

  65. livingpaint 1 year ago

    Good for the O’s but I am surprised he turned down the mariners and more years for a 1 year 8 million dollar (plus incentives) deal with the Orioles. He was the one asking for MORE years MORE money… this just seemed like settling from his camp.

    • Cam Hodgson-Dwyer 1 year ago

      Teams called his bluff. He got dollars put in front of him, decided to try and find more, so they walked away and went elsewhere.

      Now he realizes his market wasn’t as big as what his representation led him to believe. Now he’s not as absurdly rich as he could have been.

    • orioles1922 1 year ago

      Better chance to win with Orioles and much better lineup so he has a chance to put up big numbers for next year plus better hitters park.

      • livingpaint 1 year ago

        obviously his odds could be better there like you mentioned, but all the rumors made it look like he was looking for a payday than winning.

  66. LazerTown 1 year ago


    I thought he was absolutely nuts to turn down that QO. Seems I was right, but wow, he lost $6MM for testing the market. I think this is a decent deal for the O’s in a time when many teams overpaid this winter.

  67. Hoosierdaddy92 1 year ago

    At that price, I would have liked to see the Tigers pounce on him. No pun intended Whatever though, they need the draft pick

  68. es0terik 1 year ago

    lol at people using the word “steal” to define a free agent signing a week before March.

    • GoRav114 1 year ago

      Steal is probably pushing it but really good deal isn’t far fetched. His prior play projected him to be paid more for longer.

      • Aron 1 year ago

        Yup, as most GMs say theres no such thing as a bad 1 year deal

  69. Hoosierdaddy92 1 year ago

    That picture is a pretty accurate representation of Cruz’s enthusiasm for this contract haha

  70. Holy Smokes 1 year ago

    At 33, why would you turn down a 3 year deal that reportedly was worth 40,000,00+ incentives, to take a 1 year for 8M? He’ll be 34 next year. No team ( unless it’s one of the big market teams ) will offer anything more than 2-3 for this guy now.

    Kudo’s to the O’s. Chris Davis has to be excited. Jones – Davis – Cruz – somebody in this lineup will see a whole bunch of quality pitches.

  71. UK Tiger 1 year ago

    Maybe his agents at Levinsons could pay him the other $6.1m he would have got had they not convinced their client to reject the QO.

    What a massive letdown for Cruz.

  72. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    Cruz was not a victim of the QO he was victim of his own overblown ego. He gets hit with a PED suspension then 1) Turns down 1/14 2) Rejected two- and three-year offers this offseason 3) Rejects a larger 1 year deal from the Rangers. He got what he deserved!

    • PXDX 1 year ago

      I agree, but Jhonny Peralta got 4/52 after doing the same thing.

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

        True. The cards really needed a SS so they moved fast. I have to think they might be regretting that now that Drew remains available for a lot less.

        • Aron 1 year ago

          I agree, Peralta has more power but I think Drew has a decent bat, even though he’s been kind of inconsistent but his D at SS still makes him more valuable than Peralta IMO

        • Hoosierdaddy92 1 year ago

          The Cardinals are the best drafting team in the MLB. Signing Peralta required no draft pick compensation, unlike Drew. All things considered, I think they’d do the same thing twice

    • Ben-Dessa Anderton 1 year ago

      Word is, local word, he declined a contract because he was not promised an Of role. Texas wanted the bat only. Baltimore has said to offer him a spot in LF. He wants to try and reestablish himself. Very bold I’d say,

  73. Guest 1 year ago

    That was a great picture to use for this article. Sad Cruz, you struck out!

  74. Maxxx Depth 1 year ago

    Can’t believe he turned down 14mil.

  75. pft2 1 year ago

    The main difference between Cruz and Morales is Morales has not been caught with PED’s and I think is a better hitter. Take Cruz out of Arlington and you have a pretty mediocre hitter based on career averages.

    Morales should not be tied down by Cruz low salary.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

      I like Morales a lot more than Cruz but given his above average but not elite hitting, inability to play defense and poor base running Morales is only worth 8-9 MM a year. Morales is a 1-1.5 WAR player.

  76. PXDX 1 year ago

    911 career OPS hitting at Arlington
    734 OPS everywhere else.

    • GoRav114 1 year ago

      OPACY is just as much a hitters park as Arlington.

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

        Camden a significantly better HR hitters park than Arlington too. Camden was 4th in HR factor, Arlington was 19th last year. Cruz road OPS got killed by playing about 18% of his games in LA (20th in HR factor), Seattle (21st) and Oakland (25th) while he was in the AL west.

        • Lefty_Orioles_Fan 1 year ago

          Well look, doubles clear the bases!
          I think he will fit right in with the Orioles!

          • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

            GoRav and I were supporting your position……

          • Lefty_Orioles_Fan 1 year ago

            I read it wrong.
            I sometimes do that! =P

        • Ben-Dessa Anderton 1 year ago

          His bat plays quite well in Camden. Pete Buckley is fixated on the old playing ways of the the ballpark. He can’t seem to grasp the differences because it’s been a short lived occurrence.

  77. Cubstein 1 year ago

    Wow talk about completely misreading his market value when turning down that QO.

  78. frontdeskmike 1 year ago

    Correction: Cruz is CURRENTLY represented by Wasserman Media Group.

  79. Zak Arn 1 year ago

    Don’t just put your toes in the pool. Sign Morales – stick Cruz in LF and actually have a legit chance at the division.

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan 1 year ago

      I would rather sign Drew!
      I have to say the Orioles are in a rather unique and unprecedented position!

      • Zak Arn 1 year ago

        Drew? Eh. Keep Hardy, he’s a better value. I’ve never been impressed with Drew. Yea he’s a great glove, but 96 GP average for 3 seasons and his offense leaves a lot to be desired.

  80. Ben-Dessa Anderton 1 year ago

    He was told he couldn’t play Of in Texas. The Orioles offered him a shot in LF. So he took the lesser offer.

    • mstrchef13 1 year ago

      Are you serious? The Orioles have done no such thing. Their intention is to make him the every day DH, and if he gets 15 games in the OF it will be a surprise.

  81. BuckYeah 1 year ago

    this is a steal especially since scott kazmir recieved 2yrs 24mil

  82. section 34 1 year ago

    Sportswriters don’t understand economics. The draft pick had very little to do with the size of Cruz’s contract. Losing a draft pick clearly didn’t cost Cano or McCann any money. Can you say it cost Jimenez money? Don’t think so — he got the same contract as a very similar pitcher, Matt Garza.

    Cruz’s market value was set by his market, which simply wasn’t as large as he expected. If more teams wanted him, he would be worth more. It’s that simple.

    If the draft pick loss REALLY has an impact, it will be on Drew and/or Morales, if they can’t find anyone to sign them. That would mean nobody would be willing to give up a draft pick for them. The Orioles WERE willing to give up a draft pick for Cruz, and did so. So the largest factor by far in the size of Cruz’s contract was his actual market value.

  83. Robbie Guthrie 1 year ago

    As the Rangers say BYE-BYE to the “BROOMstick”. Not accepting the qualifying offer from the Rangers was just another swing and miss for Nelson Cruz aka “boomstick”.

  84. EskimoJS 1 year ago

    Big mistake for Cruz to decline the QO.

  85. EskimoJS 1 year ago


  86. monroe_says 1 year ago

    For a guy who averaged 1.2 bWAR over the last three seasons, 8 million for a year seems about right.

  87. Charles Grody 1 year ago

    Yeah and like DD said, the Orioles are competing NOW! As much as I hate to loose a first round pick, I would rather a world series ring now.

  88. John Franken 1 year ago

    Offer him a QO next year and he’s back at nearly double this year’s price… :(

  89. LazerTown 1 year ago

    I’m not sure if they will get a QO. If his market was truly this bad then I can’t see him turning down what will probably be $15MM next winter. Otherwise, I wonder if he took a lower deal if the team is agreeing not to offer the QO.

  90. monroe_says 1 year ago

    Please remind me why he didn’t play a full season?

  91. Edouble86 1 year ago

    I imagine he’ll be on pretty good behavior this year, trying to reestablish his “brand.” I expect a good year out of him.

  92. PittsburghPirates0022 1 year ago

    He got suspended 50 games for PED’s

  93. GD 1 year ago

    For that low of salary, you are probably right! 3 yrs being locked in at $8m … or 1 yr in Baltimore (hitters park) raising his offensive value just to hit FA next year.

  94. Edouble86 1 year ago

    Last on the hilarious list.

  95. Not really considering the value of a second round draft pick. If Cruz was such a bargain, more teams would’ve been in on his services. They paid a fair price but this isn’t a bargain.

  96. Aaron Johnson 1 year ago

    I think they got this deal done because more because of how late it is in the offseason and the compensation pick tied. There were only a few teams that still had a need at DH and even fewer who wouldn’t have had to give a 1st rounder to get him. They took advantage of a buyer’s market at this point. In terms of value, a second round pick isn’t worth very much, maybe 1-2 million. There’s a reason he turned down a QO

  97. GRN_ 1 year ago

    If you ain’t first , you’re last! Come on Ricky!

  98. John LeClair 1 year ago

    Sarcasm Bro…Sarcasm…

  99. Joe Valenti 1 year ago

    The question is whether good behavior means a bad year

  100. They’d get a compensation pick if he leaves, not a first round.

    It is possible that he could play well enough to justify a 14 million dollar salary, though that’s a big if. That is a lot of money to dedicate to one player though on a team that could look pretty expensive in 2015.

  101. x man 1 year ago


  102. FS54 1 year ago

    depends on how much he costs. wasn’t he seeking $100 MM?

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