At the outset of the offseason, Nelson Cruz was said to be seeking a two-year deal, in theory from the Minnesota Twins. Not much has changed on that front, though as time wears on, it seems less and less likely the Twins will meet his demand. Coming off back-to-back silver slugger awards as the Twins’ designated hitter, it would seem a given that Minnesota would do whatever necessary to bring back Cruz, even as he enters his age-40 season. He’s a team leader, a fan favorite, and a standout citizen, evidenced by being the Twins’ Roberto Clemente Award nominee in 2020 and in winning the Marvin Miller Man Of The Year Award for being the player who has earned the “most respect based on his leadership on the field and in the community,” as explained the Star Tribune’s La Velle E. Neal III back in October.
Under a different context, the opportunity to add a 163 wRC+ hitter for two years at $14MM per season would be almost too good to believe. Under the current context, however, the Twins have yet to sign Cruz, nor even has there been much in the way of dialogue, per Neal’s newest piece for the Star Tribune. Neal consulted with multiple sources to provide a timeline of Cruz’s negotiation with the Twins so far this winter.
The Twins made a one-year offer during the opening weeks of free agency, then pulled it off the table after a couple of weeks. A second contract offer was made during the holidays that went nowhere as Cruz’s camp waited for word on the NL. There hasn’t been a lot of back-and-forth negotiating between the sides.
The assumption is there will be no designated hitter in the National League in 2021, which limits the field of potential Cruz suitors, but if the Twins wait long enough, it’s hard to imagine there won’t be more opportunities for Cruz. Interestingly, Neal names the Padres as one NL team that would be interested in Cruz were there to be a DH in the NL. Adding Cruz to any lineup ought to be a boon for that team, though putting him on a Padres roster with Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado could very well make the Friars one of the more highly anticipated rosters MLB has seen in some time. Over the past two seasons, Cruz slashed .308/.394/.626 with a monstrous .318 ISO, 11 percent walk rate, 25.7 percent strikeout rate, 163 wRC+, and 6.2 fWAR over 735 plate appearances.
I’ve always wanted to do this…
Fever Pitch Guy
FIRST REAL COMMENT: I wouldn’t risk anything more than a 1-year contract with this guy, any day he could come up with another “undiagnosed stomach infection” that leads to another “error in judgment”.
Paul Walker died from a car crash, a bomb went off at the the Boston Marathon, the word selfie and twerk made it into the Oxford dictionary, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West got engaged, Breaking Bad, Candy Crush, Grumpy Cat, Duck Dynasty and Dennis Rodman met Kim Jong Un- what do all these things have in common? All of these things happened in 2013- the same (and only) year Nelson Cruz is found to have used PED’s. What’s my point? That was a LONG time ago
Chief Two Hands
That’s something you have always wanted to do? Sad…but admitting it…even worse.
Comrade Tipsy McStagger
I wonder where he will actually end up. Twins are a fit. Whitesox are a fit on a one year deal if they don’t believe that Vaughn is ready to make an impact. The Jays could be a fit but between Tellez and Guerrero Jr, the DH at bats could be spoken for. The Astros are the other team with a potential DH vacancy.
I’d love to see him go to my White Sox or the National League if they adopt the DH. He destroys White Sox pitching.
Lad doesn’t field well enough to make Cruz a fit. If he did the Jays would be better served chasing Ozuna instead. But neither are a fit.
Just give the N.L. the DH, it’s inevitable…
Negotiating tool during the next CBA negotiations. Won’t happen until then.
Yankees should step in. Have Cruz play some LF RF DH and maybe 1B. Do you think Cruz could backup at first? Everyone knows that Judge and Stanton will miss some time. Also Frazier might have some cold streaks in his first full year as a starter
dave frost nhlpa
Another right handed bat.
Mans a good hitter. Id take a good righty. Any good leftys available? Mike Ford and Tyler Wade won’t cut it
Chief Two Hands
As long as he is still on some sort of PEDs he is good. Dude is a cheater…be realistic.
The Yankees have more DH types than they have actual fielders. Adding Cruz just guarantees a lot of IL time for Stanton becauee with Cruz on the roster Stanton has to play LF
i’m thinking have Cruz be the one to rotate from LF RF 1B DH. I think if they have another player allowing Judge Voit Stanton to get days off it will keep them all healthy.
I dont think you want Cruz in the OF anymore. Also, has Cruz ever played 1b? There isn’t a good fit on the Yankees as it stands.
think it thru
Stanton will be on IL sometime during the season whether Cruz is rostered or not.It’s inevitable
That won’t work. Cruz is 40 and can’t be relied upon to play defense. He needs to go to a team that has an opening at DH. The Yankees absolutely cannot sign him unless they are willing to trade some of their players.
I bet they wish they could trade Stanton.
They could, but they’d need to attach prospects.
No, His fielding days are over. I’d be surprised if he still owned a glove. Guy can still swing it though
Cruz has played 9 games in the OF in the last four seasons and none in the last two and has never played a single inning at 1B in his ML career. That is not a legitimate option for team or player
I think it would be easy to play first you just stand around and have to catch the ball. Thats why Giambi was a 1B. But yeah hes not really a fit.
You must never have played baseball then.
“We want you at First Base”
“But i’ve always played Catcher”
“Its not that hard, Scott. Tell him Wash”
“Its incredibly hard”
I played 3B SS and CF. Never had to play 1B. I was pretty good at 3B. Played on my community college team.
Tell him, Washington. Its incredibly difficult.
If there’s one thing I resent that movie for, it’s for spreading the lie that 1B is hard to play. It isn’t. The giant glove legit does most of the work for you and groundballs don’t even need to be fielded cleanly to get outs because you’re right next to the bag. I played 1B for half a year in college due to a knee injury and every time an infielder made a throw to me, I’d secretly hope they’d bounce it just so that I had something remotely challenging to do for once.
I’m not even sure why Ron “1 career inning at 1B” Washington is the authority on it to begin with anyway.
College < D1 College < A < AA < AAA < MLB
Gregory McCann: Please go back and watch highlights over the past few seasons and see how many outs are made due to athletic plays by first basemen. There’s a reason shortstops & 3B guys can wing the ball from anywhere, they’ve got guys who will bail them out on the other end.
If first base were tough in comparison to other positions they wouldn’t always be putting the guys who can’t seem to hack it elsewhere there. It’s certainly a place to hide poor fielders.
Hahahaha Cruz playing the outfield. That’s a good one.
We don’t need OF and DH will be shared by Stanton, Judge, and Hicks. We just need DJ Lemahieu and 2-3 SP.
Imagine how insane Slam Diego would be with Cruz as a DH.
Astors have Alvarez so he is not a fit and he is coming of 2 knee surgeries so he is the DH. Yanks are not a fit as Stanton can’t stay healthy enough to play defense. Twins, Jays and….. looks like Cruz doesn’t have much market.
Another example of the absurdly terrible leadership of Manfred and Clark that we still don’t have a definitive answer on whether the NL will have the DH or not. Cruz could have quite a market among NL teams if we knew for sure
I just hope that the Dodgers don’t sign him to be their DH. That would be a nightmare.
If we heard today there would be a DH in the NL in ’21 the Dodgers would sign Justin Turner tomorrow
I’m not even sure I would really consider the Jays to be a fit, as they seem content with the Guerrero/Tellez platoon. The White Sox might be interested given their hole at DH after Edwin flopped
The problem is is that Cruz is older than Encarnacion. There would have to be some concern for the White Sox that Cruz could be as bad or worse than Edwin was last year.
I know it won’t happen, but I would love to see the White Sox swoop in and sign Cruz away from the Twinkies, adding more thunder to the already imposing Sox lineup with the double benefit of taking away offensive firepower from their primary division rival.
Ditto. The fit is almost too perfect for the White Sox.
He would fit with the ChiSox but no way they go to second year. Not with Vaughn, Abreu getting older, and the ChiSox are pretty disciplined and don’t eat much bad extra-year contract money. Eloy may get moved to DH too.
Yeah, the Sox have an abundance of options for DH.
I’m still shocked Mercedes wasn’t given ABs with Encarnacion was stinking up the joint last year.
I still believe Eloy is the best option at DH for the Sox. I love the kid, but he’s a liability in LF in mire ways than one.
don’t worry the Twins have their sights on being competitive… or as i call it in ticket selling mode… I await the day they will make good on the promises made to the people of the State of Minnesota when they were begging for public financing of a new stadium.. the promise was the money would be spent on ” keeping and adding stars”… and of course the money has been used to make the team worth over a billion dollars… but not to build a championship caliber team… nope I guess competitive is all they will pay for with our money…
Yeah the twins didn’t sign Donaldson. You’re exactly why every owner should slash payroll by like 50%. No matter what the team does you won’t be happy. Ungrateful ignorant fan. They could make the moves you want and you still wouldn’t be happy.
hahahah one guy… talk about a small sample size.. we are talking over a decade of money from a PUBLICLY financed stadium… where did all the money from all those years from the cash cow go?????? into their pockets.. not on the field as PROMISED.. of course you wouldn’t know that you didn’t attend the MN State Senate Hearing where they made those promises to the People of the State.. I DID… one guy…. hahahahahahaha.
someoldguy has a point. Why aren’t the Twins showing more desire this offseason? Numerous disappointing October performances, a ChiSox team on a serious rise, where are the Twins? You have a team that can win. Do you want to win?
Iver brings up the Donaldson signing, yet the Twins haven’t built off of that. They have nice young talent coming up but an arm and bat to replace Cruz should be a priority.
He should come back to the Rangers for 2 years 25 million guaranteed and 10 million added incentives
I think not. Being on a contender would certainly matter if he were to stay in the show! I think he probably has 0 desire to be on a Rangers team that will be lucky to win 60 games next year.
I truly believe he will re-sign with the Twins when its all said and done. I hope the Twins FO quits messing around and gives the 2 years he desires. His bat is still elite and what he does to prepare show no imminent decline. Get over the age and start seeing clearly, you need his thunder stick in your lineup!
Giving 40 year olds two year contracts in baseball is a good way to never win.
I’d give Cruz a incentive laden deal. Deal is if you produce the same numbers you did last year over pro rated for 162, you get the 2nd year you want. Gotta love these fans think these guys drink from the fountain of youth and can keep producing these ridiculous unlikely numbers at such advanced age.
I found your comment to be offensive. How many recent silver slugger awards does he have to win for you to be convinced. When it comes to older vets you take them on a case by case basis and Cruz has proven to be elite even at his advanced age. I want nothing more than the Twins to re-sign him and they would be better for it!
MLB should make a decision about DH in NL ASAP, if only to honor Cruz who must be tired of the limbo he finds himself in. I’ve never been a fan of the DH but does seem inevitable after all the years in AL. Both leagues need to either have, it not. Like, would if the NBA had the 3 pt shot in the Eastern Conf. but not the Western? This is craziness.
I believe MLB stated that the NL should plan on not having the DH in ’21. That seemed pretty clear to me. Unless similar covid conditions arise, I don’t see that changing. Its not like there are any current year negotiations going on. This years contract has already been agreed upon.
Unfortunately there just aren’t many logical landing places for Cruz especially since the majority of teams are in cost saving mode. If the Twins are sincere in wanting him back, their actions don’t reflect that. Cruz has made his fortune, so it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if he announced his retirement and went out on top of his game.
Woah… woah. Let’s not get crazy here. Cruz is holding out for an extra year of security. Most likely he’ll get an option, or not. But he’s still one of the top hitters in the game, so he’ll play in 2021.
Yep it is
This is why no matter who is running the Twins bottom line they always go the cheap and don’t do what it takes to win. They were lucky to get a top free agent like Cruz and now drag it out. Then they wonder why no top tier free agents will consider them.
The National league got to have a DH it was so cool to watch I used get something to eat when the boring pitches battered.
I think, I hope the Twins want him. But I think the Twins want to keep costs down as much as possible while Cruz wants to milk as much as he can for his most likely last contract. So he is also probably waiting on the NL decision because if they get the DH his salary goes up no matter who he goes to. Once there is a decision on that, I’d say Cruz signs within a few days.