Orioles, Nelson Cruz Mutually Interested In Extension

3:03pm: Cruz himself now tells reporters, including MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli, that the Orioles and Katz have had some extension talks since the All-Star break, but the talks have not been serious in nature. The slugger adds that after his difficult experience last offseason, he would like to get an extension worked out before season’s end, although he knows that scenario may not be realistic, given the casual nature of talks to this point. He also repeated that he would like to remain an Oriole beyond the 2014 season (Twitter links).

11:37am: The Orioles and Nelson Cruz share an interest in keeping the slugger in Baltimore past the 2014 season, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports.  Both Dan Duquette and Adam Katz (Cruz’s agent) declined on comment on whether any extension talks have already taken place or will take place, though both parties have felt Cruz has been a good fit in Baltimore this year.

It’s no secret it’s been a very positive experience for Nelson and the Orioles — though I don’t want to speak for them,” Katz said. “He’s enjoyed every minute of it.”

Cruz is set to hit free agency this winter and his big 2014 numbers will put him in line for a solid multiyear deal.  (MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes ranked Cruz as the sixth-best player on the market in his most recent 2015 Free Agent Power Rankings.)  Cruz’s league-leading 34 homers and .256/.324/.510 slash line have gone a long way in answering the doubts that plagued his stint as a free agent last winter.  With a qualifying offer draft pick attached to him and a 50-game PED suspension clouding his reputation, Cruz was forced to settle for a one-year, $8MM deal from the O’s.

This tough experience last offseason might be a reason why Cruz is considering an extension, as Heyman notes it would be rather unusual for a player in Cruz’s situation (signing a one-year pillow contract type of deal and then delivering big) to not test the open market.  The O’s will certainly offer Cruz a one-year qualifying offer if an extension can’t be worked out, and rather than face such uncertainty again, it could be that Cruz simply prefers to stay in a familiar situation.


25 Responses to Orioles, Nelson Cruz Mutually Interested In Extension Leave a Reply

  1. Baloo 10 months ago

    I think they’ll give him something like 3-years $40ish if they resign him. Would like to see both Hardy and Cruz resigned. But then there’s a $5MM Chen option, Markakis $15MM option, Andrew Miller is a FA, and then Wieters and Davis are both in their final years of arbitration. Lots of moves are going to have to be made. Makes me hate the Ubaldo Jimenez contract even more…

    • The_Artist_Formerly_OFIC 10 months ago

      NEXT Year is the final year for Norris as well…and O’Day has an option for next year but nothing after that as well. They should sign Markakis too… going to be hard to keep this club together but we seem to have been doing fine without Wieters and possibly have a 1b replacement in AAA this year doing really well. Another year of seasoning and we will know I guess…..

    • Jaysfan1994 10 months ago

      Someone’s bound to throw $15M-$18M a season at the guy after this season.

    • Damon Bowman 10 months ago

      Why would Cruz sign for an AAV of less than the 2015 qualifying offer? Are you talking $40ish meaning less than $45 million? Even with his history and advancing age I’d still see him getting a 2- or 3-year deal for at least $15 mil after he showed he could stay healthy and still mash the ball.

      • Rabbitov 10 months ago

        Because at his age it makes sense for him to take multiple years at a little less than a single year qualifying offer. I would not be surprised at all if they could pull off 3 years 40, but 3 years 45 is just as possible.

      • Baloo 10 months ago

        Because the O’s could tag him with another QO and if Cruz denies it, here we go again. No one is giving him $15+MM a year and giving up a draft pick. I think he’d rather avoid that process again.

        • Jaysfan1994 10 months ago

          Yes, because nobody wants to improve their team right? You may be unaware of this, but Nelson Cruz is the best outfielder available in free agency for next season. It’s either him or Melky Cabrera for most teams and after that your looking at reclamation signings like Colby Rasmus or Chris Young. Also, Cruz is leading the majors in homers as of today. He’s going to get $15-$18M a year and I guarantee that.

  2. AmericanMovieFan 10 months ago

    3 years/$45MM is my guess.

    2015: $10MM
    2016: $14MM
    2018: $18MM
    2019: $18MM option w/ $3MM buyout

  3. Zepp 10 months ago

    PA is sitting on a billion he can afford to pay some of these guys.

    • East Coast Bias 10 months ago

      What does that have to do with the Orioles’ spending?

      • Uncontrite 10 months ago

        because Peter Angelos owns the team.

        • Jaysfan1994 10 months ago

          Rogers owns the Blue Jays and they’re the richest ownership group in all of baseball. They still don’t spend like that unfortuantely, probably because every owner of of any sports club has a set limit based on how much they can spend each year without losing money.

          Start going to the Orioles home games, having a generous 12,000 people in the crowd for a home game in August when you’re in first place is just sad.

        • East Coast Bias 10 months ago

          Yes, I’m aware. But what does that have to do with the ORIOLES’ spending?

          Every team is run as an independent organization, corporation, company, etc… A rich owner means nothing. Payroll is based entirely on how much revenue the team brings in. Like practically every other corporation.

          If you want the Orioles to spend more money, then they have to increase their revenue, which is attained from a few different ways: increasing attendance, increasing ticket prices, merchandising, etc…

  4. Jim Low 10 months ago

    Love Cruz just don’t know if I like this with all the other options coming up and him getting older.

    I’ll trust DD but I wouldn’t be sad if the O’s get a 1st round pick for him

    • Rabbitov 10 months ago

      Can the O’s get a first for him? I thought there was a reason they couldn’t do that with him on his current contract?

  5. JohnnyHamer 10 months ago

    A 2 year deal would be perfect but I’m guessing he’ll want 3 with a mutual option and a buyout.

  6. snowbladerp14 10 months ago

    With Walker crushing the ball in the minors id almost rather us get the first round pick for him and move davis to DH and walker to 1st or walker to DH and keep davis at first. and use the money to sign the other players on the team

    • Steve Adams 10 months ago

      I don’t know if I’d say Christian Walker is crushing he ball. He’s hitting .259/.339/.422 at Triple-A. He could probably use another year in the minors, as his K% jumped nearly seven percent upon moving up a level. Davis, as a Scott Boras client, is likely going to test free agency anyway. Another year at AAA for Walker while Davis plays out his final arb year makes sense to me.

      • snowbladerp14 10 months ago

        i hadnt looked at his numbers recently they dont look as good as i remembered

    • Damon Bowman 10 months ago

      You’ve got zero chance of Walker taking 1B duties while Davis plays DH full time regardless of what happens to Cruz. Davis has proven himself to be quite an above average fielding 1B. Walker has to show a lot more to take a MLB roster spot in ’15 — this was his first year of showing any power and he needs to show he can do it again.

  7. UltimateYankeeFan 10 months ago

    My guess is if Cruz hits FA he could be looking at a 3 year $45MM deal. He’ll turn 35 during the 2015 season that’s the fly in the ointment as far as him doing any better, in my opinion.

  8. AmericanMovieFan 10 months ago

    Seems like general consensus that he’s earned a 3 year/$45MM extension…Who knew player values were so immediately obvious? (Says the guy who frequently posts outlandish contract extension ideas)

  9. Scott Berlin 10 months ago

    I think he’ll take anything at this point just so that he doesn’t have to go thru another offseason like last.

  10. basemonkey 10 months ago

    Two words: Manny Machado.

    I think Nelson’s great fit has to do with the really tight bond he’s obviously made with all the younger players, esp. Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop. They all obviously look up to him, and he’s a strong mentor for them. Nelson looks like he’s enjoying it too. They have a ridiculous amount of special handshakes and high fives to celebrate all sorts of stuff. No one else does them, just the young guys with Nelson. Haha.

  11. CottonPicker 10 months ago

    Don’t think for a scone that the O’s haven’t offered Cruz an extension already, if Cruz doesn’t get at least 4 years 80 million he’s gone and the O’s will be cellar dwellers once a again.

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