Feb. 10: Cruz has passed his physical, and the Twins have formally announced his one-year deal for the 2021 season.
Feb. 2: The Twins have agreed to re-sign designated hitter Nelson Cruz to a one-year contract, Jeff Passan of ESPN reports. He’ll earn $13MM on the deal, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.
Cruz, long one of the majors’ top hitters, has been a member of the Brewers, Rangers, Orioles, Mariners and Twins since he started his big league career in 2005. Amazingly, despite the fact that he’s now 40 years old, Cruz’s first two seasons with the Twins from 2019-20 rank among his best. He slashed a tremendous .308/.394/.626 (163 wRC+) and amassed 57 home runs in 735 plate appearances during that span.
It’s no surprise the Twins are bringing back Cruz, though questions centering on whether a universal DH would stick around in 2021 surely delayed the re-signing. The MLBPA rejected the league’s 154-game proposal for 2021 on Monday, which could limit the DH to the American League this year, and that may have impacted Cruz’s decision.
Cruz reportedly wanted a two-year deal earlier in the offseason, but despite his excellence, that never seemed all that likely for someone his age and need for a dedicated DH spot in the lineup. MLBTR predicted he would receive a one-year, $16MM guarantee at the start of the winter, and while that proved a bit bullish, Cruz’s $13MM salary for 2021 will fall right back in line with the annual rate of his previous two seasons in Minnesota.
Cruz is the latest addition for a Twins club that was quiet for much of the offseason but has recently become more active. The Twins inked Andrelton Simmons to a one-year, $10.5MM contract and have also added lefty J.A. Happ on a one-year deal worth $8MM. The club has gravitated toward one-year arrangements this winter, which should help to preserve financial flexibility next winter when a much deeper free-agent class will present the Twins with various trajectories to retain their status as one of the top teams in their division.
Cruz is back with the Twins.
Seemed like the dodgers leak was to get twins to put more in. Either way great deal for a great player
Nelson Cruz is back with the Twins. I’m wondering who will sign Marcell Ozuna?
I think he sticks with his former team as well.
Let’s hope not
He’ll be back with Atlanta on a 3-4 yr deal at about 18 mil per yr
Again let’s hope not
It’s tantalizing and probably wont happen, but
Ozuna > Cave/Kirilloff platoon.
Sure, Ozuna’s defense is bad, but Buxton’s balances it out a lot.
Takes the Central with ease.
The Twins are not taking the central with ease, even if they sign Ozuna. The White Sox are definitley going to be a good team, especially after adding Lance Lynn and Liam Hendriks. Even after trading Lindor and Carrasco, the Indians still aren’t complete pushovers. They still have some decent batters like Franmil Reyes, Jose Ramirez and Cesar Hernandez and always are developing really good pitchers. The Royals aren’t really going to be complete pushovers either. They’ve added a handful of solid players. Might not win the Central, but definitley aren’t going to go down easy.
Laughable overspend. . And while you’re at it, try and win a post season game.
You win with pitching and the INDIANS have it.
* Cleveland Baseball Team
And they’re finishing third at best
John Henry's Hammer
Boy, you never give up, do you. You, broken record, you.
Why should anyone stop paying attention? His reasons are excuses. I’m hard on David Ortiz and I never stopped rooting for him as a player. My bad at that. PED users take away accomplishments of others, prevent some from even making the big leagues and have cost us fans big $$.
Every single pitcher in mlb is a cheater. Far more pitchers cheated last year than every batter in 80s and 90s combined I bet.
Hitters with arm and hand coverings is cheating far more than what the pitchers are doing. Ask Dr. James Andrews and his staff.
God forbid a player tries to protect himself from getting a 98 mph fastball off his elbow.
Next year they should tell these sissies that they don’t need batting helmets. That’ll level the playing field!
Don’t stand so close to the plate. Pull up games from the 1980’s and you’ll see how it was done.
Players don’t die getting hit on the forearm. A player has died being hit in the head. Come up with a better argument. I don’t see you advocating chin straps for players when running the bases.
Who cares? Either guys are rubbing vagisil on the ball or taking Test Gummies and with today’s current climate, let em all take whatever they want. Sick of these guys complaining about MLB and PEDS when most are probably NFL fans and those dudes are juiced to the gills.
looie – I’m not defending cheaters, but how have their actions “cost us fans bus $$?”
I will remind you of that when David Ortiz gets into the ‘Hall of Very Good.’
No Sosa, No Big Sloppy
Papi is getting in the HOF. For sure.
You realize people sometimes wear elbow pads to cover their ribs if a ball comes in tight. Obviously, you’ve never swung a bat.
When you get upset that hitters are allowed elbow guards, then I stop caring about any of your grievances.
Antibelt – no, I played. No elbow guard. Maybe the ribs are too close to the plate and they should back off? Maybe? Rhetorical, it’s a yes.
Nebraska with another hot take. If you didn’t care you wouldn’t come up with a baby response to what I said. And who’s upset? It’s only cheating. Players will find ways to gain an edge. That will never stop even if the arm padding comes off.
Stupid autocorrect: “big SS”
Just got off the phone with Jimmy (and his staff) Guest is right again. Ahahahaha
Cruz got a 50 game suspension for PED use in 2013.
How did that work out for him? (pretty darn great)
what incentive does he have to stop the PED use? (none)
since 2013 he has hit 260 home runs (impressive)
since 2013 he has made $91M
He’s probably on something that the tests don’t yet detect (kudos to the chemists)
basically Big Papi is the same story
and guys in the 60’s and 70’s were all jacked up on amphetamines. Maybe even before that. I refer you to “Ball Four” by Jim Bouton, play close attention to the term “greenies”. Estimates put greenie usage at 85% of all players. Should their achievements be stricken?
Football players shouldn’t wear padding or helmets! The big wimps! (/sarcasm)
PED users use them to stay healthy, to perform for the fans, which you apparently are totally happy watching them tank their careers from injury. Shame on any PED-hater, it doesn’t matter at all, you can’t mash 20-35 year old MLB pitching at 50, so nothing changes about the game fundamentally by allowing PEDs.
It keeps players on the field, that’s what should matter the most.
What the Astros did was cheating, PED’s are childs play compared to the Astros.
If Edgar nearly was off the ballot by the time he got in with no PED concerns why is Big Papi a lock? Id imagine he has the best shot of anyone with PED concerns,bur hardly a lock.
that might be the single worst take ever posted on this site – and that’s saying something.
are you kidding me? you can stay healthy without PEDs and there is no proof that they dont make you more of a glass cannon. (both in the glass and cannon sense) you say that PEDs dont help you hit Majors pitching at 50 yet Manny was on tje verge of playing on Australia this year and Barru Bonds beat Giancarlo Stanton in a HRD as the Marlins hitting coach a few years ago. and im sure the average fan feels more defrauded by PED use then pleased that the players using are “performing for the fans.”
not saying we need to celebrate it but that’s like saying NHL players using smelling salts is ban worthy. to act like greenies are amywhere near the level of what players are using now is crazy.
It deserves to be said. he defrauded the sport. why praise him over someone like Pettitte who at least appologized for it. (which is still far from enough for me) There are rules for a reason and he knowingly broke them and likely still is. I will continue to bash players like him – especially the most brazen ones like Cruz, Braun, etc.
5 years ago but I’ve met him and he is massive
They all cheat and still cheat. Cruz can only muster a 1 year deal w same team for a lesser amount bc the whole league knows he still juices to some extent or another.
Some 90% of pitchers use illegal substances from the mound. Is what it is. Better to acknowledge it than pretend like it’s not happening
That whole statement sounded stupid. Cruz can only muster a 1 year deal because he is 40 you dummy.
Or y’all are in complete denial…..
They all cheat, owners know, and invest accordingly.
I’ve posted that same link here on MLBTR myself. The YouTuber got blasted by comments because most of them had a knee jerk reaction to defend Bauer and dismissed right away what the youtuber was saying.
I also believe that they all cheat. How could they not?
maybe its cherrypikcing but as far as im concerned injecting or ingesting something has always seemed way, way more nefarious then anything you can do that doesnt directly involve your own body that isn’t overt enough to get you caught.
Good move by the Twins!
Really good move by the Twins. I thought that Cruz could’ve gotten something closer to $18 million on a one year deal, but I guess not.
Not close his value as a dh automatically diminishes
Cruz isn’t getting any younger. .One year deals is all he’ll get!
Would have been more exciting if he ended up in a new uniform. Great signing for the Twins though.
Kinda figured. Here’s to another year of watching Nellie mash in Target field.
Big missed opportunity for the palehose.
Not too worried, the Sox have about five guys who could put up solid numbers as DH. Abreu, Eloy, Grandal, Vaughn, Mercedes, Collins… take your pick.
south side hit men
Wrong ChiSox. Mercedes and Collins shouldn’t be on that list. If they are, that confirms how huge Cruz could have been for the Sox. Before everyone puts Vaughn in the HOF, maybe a few hundred at bats in AA or AAA would be wise.
This could have been one of those moves that puts you over the top in the AL. Right now we’re good, but so are a handful of other teams.
Missed opportunity for sure.
A corner OF who can mash RHP is a better overall fit for the White Sox than a pure DH. Nelson Cruz would have been a solid addition to the batting order but does nothing to improve their suspect defense in LF. A righty masher with even average ability in LF would improve the White Sox offense and defense by getting Eloy Jimenez more PA’s in the DH role.
Jimenez is not only a poor defender in LF but he has also sustained injuries out there in each of his first two seasons with his erratic play. He has also put CF Luis Robert and SS Tim Anderson in harms way with his misadventures. Of course, his time spent on the IL also hurts the White Sox offense.
@south side hit men
Sure, because the Sox have done so well over the past decade with $10MM+/yr signings at DH (Dunn, LaRoche, Alonso, EE).
They’re in a damd if you do, damd if you don’t situation with Cruz. At some point he will fall off the cliff. It would be the Sox luck he would’ve done it this year had they signed him. Now the Twins have him again, he will probably mash again like he’s been doing.
I’m fine with the Sox passing on Cruz. Pack up and go to AZ for ST. The lineup’s loaded enough to where they can cover a weak DH until Vaughn makes it up, and if that doesn’t pan out, they have the July trade deadline to get that improvement. And who knows, Collins and/or Mercedes might actually be a good fit at DH. I know, it’s scary to think that. It’s much easier to rip Jerry for being cheap than to give Collins and Mercedes a real chance they deserve.
Agree 100%. Have Eloy play left only when Gio and Lynn pitch. Otherwise he’s dh. If he doesn’t get better this year, and Vaugnn blossoms, then the Sox have a log jam of dh types.
I think you miss the obvious hit man. I’d like to park a corvette at a mansion every night but it isn’t in the budget. The White Sox budget was tapped. It’s not a missed opportunity when the budget is tapped.
Stick it in the budget
“Mercedes and Collins shouldn’t be on that list.”
Yes, they absolutely should be. They should have been the last 2 years as well, but for some reason the Sox would rather sign fading vets every year.
Yermin Mercedes AAA slash line in 2019 was .310/.386/.647 with a 10.9% BB rate and 19.1% K rate. What more does he need to do to “be on that list”?
Zack Collins AAA slash line in 2019 was .282/.403/.548 with a 16.9% BB rate and 26.7% K rate. I know the cool thing to do is write him off as a bust based on their TERRIBLE handling of his MLB at bats so far, but if you’re not going to give him any sort of consistent at bats, you NEED to trade him. Yes, he absolutely K’s too much (those don’t matter though, right?). But he also takes a ton of walks and has a bunch of power from the left side. If he can be even close to average behind the plate, he provides value.
The only player that doesn’t “belong” on that list right out of the gate is Andrew Vaughn. As much as I’d love to see him and believe he has the talent to succeed right away, he should probably start the year in AA just to be safe and get him in a groove before calling him up.
I would really like to see Mercedes get a shot. Dude raked in the minors, have you seen those numbers?
I want to downvote this comment. Both of them can’t hit in the mlb so why mention them?? There both AAAA players.
Good move for the Twins. It’s looking less and less likely the NL will have a DH this season
Nope. MLBPA rightfully am holding off on anything which changes the financial landscape. It makes the owners show their cards and more leverage during the next CBA negotiations.
You gotta admit… Nelly looked damn good in those Twinkie baby blues.
Nelson Cruz on the Bonds 600-762 diet plan.
Okay, troll. You’ve made your PED point multiple times in this post. Can you maybe go give your mom a hug?
Are you saying Bonds used PEDs?! Why, I object!
don’t look now Yankee Clipper but Mantle was a Known Drug user… and There is a reason Maris grew muscles and lost his hair in bunches during 61 … and it wasn’t radiation poisoning.. https://grantland.com/features/the-last-boy/
PEDs, it does a bank account good.
Does Rooker play 1b now? Sano really hasn’t done much to be guaranteed a starting spot.
Sano will be the 1b. No doubt.
and Rooker has?
John Henry's Hammer
He hasn’t earned it, but he’ll be the first basemen. The guy will never learn to NOT strike out.
Cruz is currently sitting on 417 career HRs. What percentage of chance do you give him to reach 500?
Naturally, 0%. On B[onds] vitamins, 25%
He hasn’t been natural anyways lol
Hosmer for HOF
Id say 40%, all he has to do is stay at his pace the last few years over the next 2 that he plans on playing. He hit 57 over his last 163 games, Age is obviously the x factor. I think he misses by 30ish or beats it by less then 10
A pair of 40+ plus Homer Seasons would get him there but realistically he would probably have to play at least three more seasons to do it. However, in the event of another drastically shortened season or the possibility of no season at all (see CBA negotiations following the ’21 season) he won’t get to 500
Who pays for the PEDs? Gotta hope the Twins had the sense to specify in the contract he’s gotta pay for his own…
Wow, another PED joke. God you trolls just slay me. You must get all the women.
gosh forgot someone who cheats the game get some deserved hate for it. he should he banned quite frankly.
By all accounts Cruz is a hard worker and a phenomenal clubhouse presence. He shouldn’t be banned, that’s a ludicrous statement. Are you insinuating he’s still using or that having served his punishment, he now deserves more punishment?
Time to move on from the steroid era, it was overblown to begin with. The balls were as juiced as the players.
You’d be banning a large amount of players if they invested in testing.
I’m sure Nelson reads these posts and is deeply hurt by your hate speech.
Darkside complains about “canel culture” in one post and then wants to cancel Nelson Cruz permanently in another. It must be his white purity and innocence. News flash: people make mistakes, DarkSide. People cheat. You included. Almost everyone deserves the chance for forgiveness. Even you.
Let me be the first. I don’t know what deeply seeded sins are lurking in your inner shadow, leading you to project against Nelson Cruz. . . but whatever horrible things you’ve done, Darkside, I forgive you.
that’s not cancel culture, that’s upholding the rules of the game. are you going to tell me Jenrry Mejia or Pete Rose were “cancelled?” that’s not what it is. the guy was given a clear set of rules he could have easily followed and did not.
innocent until proven guilty but its kinda odd that nothing has changed since his punishment as far as his production goes. not trying to say suspend him because he’s probably using, just saying its odd that nothing has changed.
good. rules are rules. either enforce them or dont have them. the testinh shouldn’t be random – it should be frequent enough so that you can’t possibly cheat without getting caught. if the league really cared about the rules they’d be willing to do that.
All those balanced breakfasts really paid off for the guy
Fair money deal. Less than I thought they would end up giving him.
Seems like a value deal. Not having a national league dh likely cost him millions.
Always wished he’d stayed with my M’s but we arent in a place for that kind of a relationship… Is baseball about life or what??
He needs to show cano how he isn’t get caught.
John Henry's Hammer
You are an expert on PEDs, obviously.
I thought it was pretty witty, Mets22…
Not bad. Pushes guys down the lineup. Arreaz mixed in there. It would be great if Buxton can stay healthy and take the lead off spot soon.
Twins bench is Rooker, Arraez, Jeffers, and Cave. That’s spicy,
Cruz is a terror to face. I would have preferred him to be gone from the Bomba Squad, but it is what it is
It could be worse. He could have gone to the White Sox. If I had $1.5B to spare, I’d have bought the Sox and gone after Springer and Cruz hard. It would have made for an absolute nightmare of a lineup for opposing pitchers.
I feel oddly disappointed for the guy. I realize it’s $13M, I realize it’s commensurate with his previous salaries, but I feel like his 4 year/$57M deal was extremely fair and he should’ve continued getting paid that much. I know I’m quibbling over $1.25M for someone I have no connection with in a game where they’re all paid extremely well regardless, but… I do feel like relative to his consistent production the guy deserves to have been paid consistently.
Like we could go back to the off season before 2019 and he could’ve been given a 3 year/$43M deal by the Twins, straight up. I realize it’s still the equivalent of a 3 year/$39M deal and that ain’t a really huge loss for him or discount for them, but given his consistency on the Mariners his deal with the Twins always surprised me.
Maybe he feels the same and this was the hold up? He tried to get 1 year/$17M to make up for what he gave up the last two years and they weren’t gonna cave, he wasn’t gonna get 2 years from anybody, so this was the best he was gonna do?
A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush, after all.
Ummm, he be fine.
Oh thank you Nelly, for sticking with The Twins. After losing Eddie, and possibly you, it would’ve been the end of LA BOMBA SQUAD!(IMO) Twins will be fun to watch a 3rd year in a row. LOVE YOU NELLY CRUZ!!!
Good move but I’m not sure how much he has left in him.
clearly, found a way around testing. Ohhhhhhhhh, MLB would never fall for (make money from) that…
I hope Cruz has a few more great years in him… simply because he’s 4 days older than me. As long as he’s still playing, I still have time to start my career and make it to the majors and make $13MM.
Boom goes the dynamite.
What a bargain for the Twins. It’s gott be tough being a DH free agent this offseason!
I think Ozuna is going to be disappointed with offers he receives. He’s pretty much a DH at this point, and with no NL to go to, his market will be pretty limited.
Awesome for the Twins! He is an awesome clubhouse presence and still a killer hitter!
They got him for a steal if you ask me. Especially on a 1 year deal where the avg yearly cost is typically higher than a multiple year deal. If he was project by MLBTR for $16mil for 1 year and he settled for $13, surely they could have worked out a 2 year deal for him. Like 2 years for 20 mil with a team buyout for a couple mil. Idk. I’m a toilet seat GM, so what do I know. Love seeing the guy play.
The dudes 40…..good luck with that.
Way to pay attention to science and technology. LeBron James is going to play til he’s 45, Cruz probably will too. Professional athletes play in MLB, and they use science and technology to their advantage. You act like 2021 is not the most advanced we’ve ever been.
Wow. He has been a bargain since 2015.
Reinsdorf needs to sell the team if he’s not really serious about winning it all. They passed on Springer because of some BS about “not paying CF prices for a corner OF,” even though he would have been a terrific solution. They also missed out on Brantley, Schwarber, and Rosario, all of whom would have been better than Eaton. They missed out on all available FA pitchers except for the constantly broken Rodon. They missed out on a very affordable Cruz on a contract that wouldn’t have blocked Vaughn.
They did trade for Lynn (an overpay, IMO, since he’s a rental), and did sign Hendriks, but Reinsdorf had so many opportunities to seriously improve the roster and passed on the vast majority of them, all while hiring his long-time friend as manager instead of someone like Bochy.
Reinsdorf is constantly living in a state of 3-5 years ago. He signed Griffey, Jr., La Roche, and Dunn, apparently thinking each time that they were who they were years in the past. Traded for Shields, apparently not realizing he’d fallen off a cliff. Now he goes back and gets Eaton and Rodon, not realizing one is old and the other is the Greg Oden of baseball.
He needs to get a cranial-rectalectomy or sell the club. The Sox may go to the WS this year, but they have a 1 in 3 or worse chance against either the Dodgers or Padres.
Yep. Reinsdorf is nothing but a bean counting CPA. And he’s done his best to keep the White Sox one or two players away from a World Series the last 40 years. 2005 was a fluke, something I hate to admit because I loved that team. The team is finally loaded with cheap, controllable talent (for once), and he still won’t fully commit to bringing a championship to Chicago.
Sad that he has the accomplishments of Michael Jordan to hang his hat on. He’s really been a terrible owner.
This is the biggest payroll in white Sox hIstory. If you scroll to the projected 2022 payroll you will see why they aren’t signing 6 year 150 dollar contracts.
Literally don’t know what you’re talking about for 2022. Right now, even if they pick up Eaton’s option, they’re at $117M, with most of the other players in pre-arb. Evan Marshall might get a little pricey for what he is, Engel and Giolito are due for raises, but even putting $20M for all of those guys leaves them at $137M. Reinsdorf is a multi-billionaire. He could have afforded a little more if he really wants to win a title.
Every team can afford a little more. White Sox are not going to have 215 million dollar payroll. So startng next year at 140 million gives them a little flexibility. Starting next year at 165 million gives them none.
Springer is a reasonably sure thing to produce. Committing to someone else with that “flexibility” by its very nature also removes the flexibility. At some point, you have to trade away your freedom of having different options to sign (and take a risk on) someone who will give you production. Freedom matters very little if you do nothing with it.
iml12, clearly math is not your forte.
Let’s look at GM scoreboard:
Cruz $13 mil
Simmons $10.5 mil
TOTAL $23.5 mil
They could have spent :
Eddie Rosario $8 mil in his prime
Cesar Hernandez $5 mil – gold glove 2b & Polanco at SS
TOTAL $13 mil
AND still have $10 mil left to improve the awful pitching staff….
Cruz >>>>> Rosario. I would’ve gone with Cruz and Hernandez probably.
I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. For that matter, include the automatic walk, the 2nd-grade runner on 2nd, and 7 inning games.
Cruz’s signing could slightly hurt Mitch Garver’s playing time and value, but still think a rebound would go a long way to the Twins being a top offensive team again.
stan lee the manly
His numbers are absurd, I can’t believe he’s still hitting like he is. It’s a shame he’s blamed so much for the 2011 WS when the only reason the Rangers even had a chance was because of his bat.
Twins should go get Castillo. Come off Lewis +
As a White Sox fan, I hope they don’t. It would make the AL Central a toss-up. The division is finally not the worst in baseball, though. White Sox and Twins battling it out, Indians taking a step back, but still with one of baseball’s best pitching staffs, and the Royals definitely improving. Only the Tigers are going to be awful and even they’re trending in the right direction with their strong farm.
More reason why the Sox shouldn’t waste all these contract extensions and roster flexibility on scrub free agent acquisitions. We’re not just fighting the Twins. We’re fighting the Dodgers, Yankees, Padres, Mets and Braves too.
Cap & Crunch
I have a friend who swears he has a way to never lose Blackjack….he just progressively doubles his bet anytime he loses to get back to even at least-
This is what I feel the Cruz is too old crowd feels like these days….one day guys you’ll be right woo hoo !!!
Nelson Cruz is awesome
He has literally been the best hitter in baseball the last five years.
Awesome! Now they just need Cruz’s age, Donaldson’s calves, Simmons’ knee, and Buxtons entire gd body to hold together.
Wish they would have done an option in the deal….. he’s worth every penny and will be just as productive a year from now
Considering he didn’t have his first big year until he was 28 years old, and he now sits at over 400! That’s a lot of home runs to accumulate from age 28 to now
I know he’s a former PED user but damn am I rooting for him to join the 500 HR club. Should break 1k runs and 2k hits too if he stays healthy.
Chief Two Hands
And they would be illegitimate stats. Cruz is a bonafide pumpkin-eater.