Despite mutual interest in a reunion, there hasn’t been much progress in contract talks between the Twins and free agent Nelson Cruz, according to The Athletic’s Dan Hayes. “While the two sides have already had multiple discussions about Cruz returning, no decision is expected soon,” Hayes writes.
Cruz is reportedly looking for a two-year contract, which would be a relatively lengthy commitment for a player who turned 40 years old back in July. However, Hayes writes that “no demands for guaranteed years have been made” by Cruz and his representatives, indicating some negotiating flexibility, and evidence that Cruz’s desire for a multi-year deal is more of a want than a must-have as he explores his free agent options.
Despite the natural wariness about paying big money to a player past his 42nd birthday, Cruz has yet to show any signs of regression as he approaches his 17th MLB season. Cruz hit .303/.397/.595 with 16 home runs over 214 plate appearances in 2020. In two seasons in Minnesota, Cruz has racked up two Silver Slugger Awards and a pair of top-nine MVP finishes (ninth in 2019, sixth in 2020).
Cruz has been such a good fit as the leader of the Bomba Squad that there is some level of expectation that he and the Twins will eventually work something out. That said, after a season of lowered revenues, the Twins will look to be careful with every dollar they spend, and a payroll cut isn’t out of the question. The possibility that the National League could adopt the DH for 2021 would greatly expand Cruz’s market, so there is some feeling that Cruz (and other defensively-limited free agent hitters) would wait for more concrete news on that rule change before making any contractual decisions.
Rockies should snag him.
keep him twins
The problem with that the NL “could adopt the DH in 2021” is that that decision should have already been made. Cruz or any other player can’t sit by and wait to see if 15 other teams will all of a sudden need a DH
couldn’t have said it better myself. ridiculous.
Why wouldn’t he? It would markedly improve his earning potential having 15 more suitors to drive up his price tag. This is a horrible take.
Hey @Janus, do you have a brother named Hugh?
Funniest thing I’ve read or heard all day!
Chief Two Hands
Just a matter of time before the NL dumbs itself down with the DH.
Exactly. We have half the league that doesn’t know how to construct their roster. Complete failure of leadership.
I agree, it’s not fair to free agents or teams to have this issue linger.
Right now, HoFer? Ya or nay?
Passes 500 career HRs, HoFer? Ya or nay?
My question is what happens if he still rakes through his age 42 season? Does he stay in the league and just hit bombs till he’s 50? That’s UN-heard of. I hope he’s off any kind of PED’s right now because I’d love to see him go to the HOF. He’s a great guy who devotes himself to the game and others.
Has anyone with positive tests made it? For this reason Nay
Pretty much everyone was on something before MLB finally took it’s steroid issue seriously in 2005.
Piazza admitted to taking a then legal steroid in the late 1980s and Pudge Rodriguez was implicated with everyone else in Jose Cancseco’s book but people seemed to ignore it because bias or whatever.
not only that, but pudge magically loses 40 lbs in 5 months, numbers fall off a cliff once steroid testing and suspensions kick in.
jose nailed it with him. pudge went on the “fear of getting caught diet” (and pudge didn’t care, since he still had like 3 years, 30 million or so on his deal with no chance of it being voided).
Steriod suspension says no but eventually he could get in if he passes 500 Home Runs. Probably not if he doesn’t
how can Bonds be out with more HR and no proven positive test but Cruz gets in?
Cruz and Bonds will likely get voted in by the “Todays Game” committee one day. Same way Harold Baines and Alan Trammell have gotten in
Chief Two Hands
The MLB Hall of Fame is a joke.
Roughly, a HOFer needs at least 50+ WAR to be in the conversation. With Cruz at 39.4 WAR, I’m betting the under of HOFer.
Harold Baines — career WAR 38.7. Placido Polanco career WAR 41.9.
If Cruz gets to know Jerry Reinsdorf and Tony LaRussa a little bit better, he is a lock HOFer.
So he needs to take up drinking copious amounts of alcohol then?
Why bring up Placido? I think baines is widely seen as an outlier, not a bar
No. Cruz has the steroid suspension under his belt and that, along with being a DH will cost him.
When I hear a player’s name I associate that name with a team. I associate Beltre with the Rangers, Markakis with the O’s, and Arrieta with the Cubs. Now I associate Cruz with the Twins. Weird, yes, but he fits there. I see him signing there again and probably finishing his career there.
But he turned a corner in SEA and became a beast. I will always remember him as a Met. lol
If it wasn’t for that miscue in the outfield during the WS. Texas would probably bring him back.
That was preventable. Wash should’ve put it Chavez to play RF like most managers do late it games for defensive abilities. I blame Wash more than I do Cruz, but I hate neither for it.
He was never a Met…
Lol, I wonder if anybody here remembers him on the Brewers.
Yep. Only a hand full of games and then packaged to Texas in the Carlos Lee trade
They didn’t sign him as an int’l FA in ’98 then trade him to OAK in 2000 for the underrated Jorge Velandia? Hmm…
My mistake. However he was never a Met (or an Athletic) at the ML level
I was assuming you Ranger fans would say that he should sign with Texas … join M Ozuna L Gurriel N Syndergaard and Kim and all the others that Texas will either sign or trade Lance Lynn for
The Rangers should be all over a reunion with Cruz. 2 year commitment, 15-18 mil per, a #4 thumper in the lineup with Gallo hitting behind. Bridge the gap to the next wave of youth.
But … I imagine any team would be happy to have him as a primary DH if they have the opening in the lineup, and the Rangers can’t exactly sell him on being a contender.
While I’m at it, they could get Eddie Rosario for the 3 spot LF at a decent cost once the Twins non tender him.
Winfield, Molitor, Thome…
Thome hit over 600 Home Runs. Molitor and Winfield each had over 3000 hits, Winfield had over 400 HR’s to go with the 3000 hits.
He really soaks up the leader role for the Twins, it appears he has an excellent rapport with a lot of the younger guys.
Chief Two Hands
I associate Cruz with the Mariners, because that is where he was caught, that is where he was paid for cheating and that is where his legacy as a cheater was solidified.
This is an idiotic take. He was suspended as a Ranger. Get your facts straight:
People say whatever they want to try to make themselves sound smart without doing the research first
If the Twins do not sign him, they don’t care about winning and don’t care about their fans.
40 is nothing for a player with Cruz medical history. Papi led the league in slugging at that age somehow…..
I know this is a bit of a ‘conspiracy theory’ and I’m not usually one to believe in them BUT… I had a theory with David Ortiz based on his career trajectory and I have the same thing with Cruz. If you look at their career progression… particularly the lack of power when they were listed as “20-22/23 years old” and then where it went when they hit 25/26 — I wouldn’t be shocked if both Ortiz and Cruz are actually 2 years younger than they say they are. The initial reason for lying about their ages was to be eligible to sign contracts with major League teams when they were actually only 16. In Cruz’s case — even though he never wound up playing after his first contract he signed with the Mets in 1998. At the time claiming to be 17/18. But I hypothesize he was actually only 16. That would explain why as a “20 and 21 year old” in his first 2 professional seasons he barely hit any home runs… in my theory that’s because he was actually only 18 and 19 years old. Then he started to develop power at 23/24 — or in my theory 21/22. That trajectory of power development makes a lot more sense than just that he for some reason had no power when most players are reaching their prime physically but got massive power 2 years later. It also explains why (in some part) he’s still able to produce at “39/40” because in my theory he’s actually only 37/38. I know it’s a bit out there… but look at his career stats (in the minors even moreso) and see if you think the development path makes MUCH more sense if you subtract 2 or even 3 years from his listed “age”
It’s an interesting theory, albeit one I’ve heard before. And his birthday that is listed is 7-1-80… Very simple. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true, they wanted their opportunities, and they got it.
Probably just the large amount of PED’s. Ortiz failed the very first test ever given then saw his head double in size through his 30s. HGH is called the fountain of youth for a reason.
But I do like this theory. Can do the same thing in reverse with Pujols. Take a look at his career arc and add 3 years and it makes much more sense.
Big Papi’s head was big because he got fat. It obviously wasn’t from steroids. The body doesn’t lie (both appearance-wise or health wise). Papi spent way too much time on the IL and had way too many injuries to be a steroid user. Get over it.
Recovering from injuries is one of the primary reasons people turn to PEDs
I heard that Pujols’ parents were the ones who lied about his birth certificate so he could get into school in the United States.
I don’t think there’s any rush… it’s hard to estimate a fair price if we don’t know if there’s going 15 or 30 DH jobs. My guess is when we have a firm up or down on that Cruz and the Twins work out a good number.
Would like to see him return to Seattle. They need more veterans on that team.
I think he is comfortable in Minnesota. Good chemistry. And he is confident they are going to be contending. Twins won their division the last two years, but they do need tweaks to go deeper in the playoffs. At this stage of his career Cruz likely has no interest in signing with a team in rebuild mode.
Let Cruz go. I think the Twins should bring back Big Papi. He has way more home runs than Cruz.
Is Cruz the new Raul Ibanez?
I think he would look great in Cleveland but the Tribe is trying to cut salary. So it won’t like happen.