Chatting before tonight’s ALDS opener, Twins slugger Nelson Cruz made clear that he’s hoping to stay in Minnesota for at least one more season. MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park was among those covering the interview (video via Twitter).
Cruz’s contract paid him fourteen million well-earned dollars this year. It also came with a $12MM club option. The team would owe just $300K if it declines to pay that sum for Cruz’s age-39 campaign.
“I want to be back,” says Cruz. “I don’t have that call, but hopefully they can pick up the option. The future looks really bright for us so I want to be part of a winning team for many years.”
Cruz likely won’t need to twist any arms in the Minnesota front office to achieve his desired end. He just homered in tonight’s game and launched 41 long balls over 521 plate appearances. With a monster .311/.392/.639 batting line on the year, Cruz topped all but three hitters leaguewide with a 163 wRC+.
If anything, Cruz’s immense output and affordable option serve to highlight what a bargain his contract seemed at the time. Even with the anticipation of another tepid market for defensively limited sluggers, MLBTR predicted a two-year, $30MM pact. He’d figure to have as much or more earning power this winter, making it quite likely the option will be picked up without much second thought.