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Nelson Cruz wants “about $75 million over four years”

Nov 26, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT

Nelson Cruz AP

If you thought the outrage about Jhonny Peralta getting a four-year, $53 million deal has been significant just imagine what happens if Nelson Cruz gets the contract he wants. Cruz, like Peralta, is a free agent after serving a 50-game Biogenesis suspension and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that he’s seeking “about $75 million over four years.”

This morning Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported that the Mariners were interested in Cruz and now Heyman adds the Rangers, A’s, and Mets as other potential suitors.

Cruz turned down a qualifying offer from the Rangers that would have been worth $14.1 million for 2014 and apparently he made the right call despite being 33 years old coming off a suspension. He hit .266 with 27 homers and an .833 OPS in 109 games before the suspension and Cruz has an .823 career OPS that ranks 30th among all right-handed hitters with at least 2,000 plate appearances.

  1. dowhatifeellike - Nov 26, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    We’re starting to see what we’ve suspected all along: front offices don’t care if guys are using, they only care when their guys get caught. No qualms about putting a known user on the roster if it helps them win.

    • Jeremy T - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:00 PM

      Personally, I’m not surprised that they don’t care if guys are using. However, I am a little bit surprised that they don’t seem to think these players are going to suffer much of a dropoff in performance. Outside of Melky (who had signs pointing to some regression regardless of PED use), it seems like most of the guys busted for PED use are getting deals close to what they would’ve gotten if their performance was legitimate. To me, that either means that GMs think they’re going to keep using (but now they’re not going to get caught), or it means they think the PEDs didn’t actually have that much of an effect.

      • mikhelb - Nov 26, 2013 at 7:05 PM

        To be fair, outside of Melky and a couple of other players, the rest didn’t test positive so they could very well keep on doing what they were doing but being more discrete and keep on performing as if they were clean.

        PS
        Isn’t it curious that whomever has an opnion contrary to Craig’s non-anti-PED usage is getting lots of thumbs down?

      • Jeremy T - Nov 27, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        True, they could, although I’d expect them to be tested a lot more often than the average player.

        And really, you shouldn’t be surprised that people generally agree with the writer of a blog that they read regularly. I’m not sure where the thumbs are coming from on mine, though.

    • mikhelb - Nov 26, 2013 at 7:01 PM

      We already knew about that since the Mitchell Report where it was said that Theo Epstein knew about the PED usage of Gagné and still acqured him, failing to notify MLB first.

      But of course George Mitchell and his team didn’t see that as a red light and didn’t investigate the BoSox, the team where he was part of the front office.

      We later heard about MLB sending doctors to teach RedSox players how to cheat, nor the failed tests of Ortíz+Manny and Pedro and others having Angel Presinal as their prime go-to-guy, the same guy banned by MLB ’cause he was caught with a briefcase of steroids in Canada.

      And alas… ARod is in part being prosecuted for his ties with Presinal among other personal trainers, while PROMINENT Red Sox players have never been questioned for the “magical milkshakes” that Presinal gave them.

  2. xdj511 - Nov 26, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    This might happen, but at least at this point we can all laugh at the stupidity of the GM who will give this guy almost 19 million a year for four years at age 33, and how stupid this deal will look come 2017, and move on.

  3. uyf1950 - Nov 26, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Five years $85MM for a 29 year old McCann sounds like a bargain right about now.

    • paperlions - Nov 26, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      Yep. I said at the time that I thought it was a great deal given his age, durability, and productivity both on offense and defense. Sure, at some point late in the deal he may have to DH or play 1B a little….so what, good catchers are rare, good catchers that can both hit and play solid D are really rare and really valuable….and 5 years really is not that awful long for this deal.

      That is “Hunter Pence” money, and McCann >>>>>>>>>>> Pence.

      • gibbyfan - Nov 27, 2013 at 9:17 AM

        I guess by your reasoning that would mean Yadi is way underpaid.

      • paperlions - Nov 27, 2013 at 9:24 AM

        Yep, I loved that deal when he signed it. The years still worry me a bit, because being a catcher is hard on the body. But some positions are just much harder to replace than others, and historically, a catcher with both offensive and defensive skills is the rarest beast in baseball….and even though we (as a group) better appreciate the value of catcher defense than we used to, it is still not fully appreciated.

      • gibbyfan - Nov 27, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        Yea, I have to amit that I thought it was maybe a little high at the time. As a long time Card fan I hate to think what would have happened had he hit the market. By my estimation all the big teams would have been knocking the door down.Dodgers, Angels, Yankees and others all needed catchers……….I bet it would have been over 20 M easy–especially for only 5 years……don’t think we would have been able to compete……….that to me was one of the most brilliant moves Mo has made.

  4. tcostant - Nov 26, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Crime pays…

  5. cohnjusack - Nov 26, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    WHERE is the incentive NOT to cheat ?? There is none

    Perhaps is lies in the 50/100/OUT system that has caused a far smaller percentage of players to use steroids.
    Perhaps is also lies in Jhonny Peralta possibly earning less money than he would have if not for the suspension. Do you think in a year when there are no available shortstops and the free agent market is flush with more cash from lucrative TV deals that Jhonny Peralta would have been limited to $13 million a year without the steroid suspension??

    • vivabear - Nov 26, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      All things being equal, Peralta would have got a larger contract if not for the 50 game suspension. In this scenario I’m assuming he still used PEDs but was never suspended. Real world he’s suspended for PED use and doesn’t get quite as hefty a contract as he would have otherwise. Alternate world, he never uses PEDs – he very likely would ahve been out of baseball six years ago. Not all will agree with that last sentence. But it’s plausible.

      So he does gain monetarily from PEDs -

    • ezthinking - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      viva – it’s moronic statements like “he never uses PEDs – he very likely would have been out of baseball six years ago.” that makes players from high school on up try steroids. That’s not ‘plausible,’ it’s a fact.

      Check out the list of people caught. Lots of never was, never would be. There’s not magic in a pill despite what Pfizer or Glaxo-Smith-Klein tell you. Marvin Benard, Alex Sanchez, about 100 nothing minor leaguers, all bought into eat the pill, take the shot, rub the cream. Where are they now?

    • vivabear - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:44 PM

      Comments with profanity are no longer posted?

      Looks like I just caused a whole bunch of 16 yr old baseball players to grab their parent’s credit cards, and go online to purchase stanozolo from Bulgaria.

    • vivabear - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      Sorry that should have been stanzolol.

      Anyway, I think Peralta had the talent to make the bigs, but he would have washed out a few years ago had it not been for PEDs. I have no way to prove that, it’s my opinion. But there’s also no way to disprove it.

    • Kevin S. - Nov 26, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      I think there are invisible unicorns that roam amongst us and are responsible for our good fortunes. I have no way to prove that, it’s my opinion. But there’s also no way to disprove it.

    • mikhelb - Nov 26, 2013 at 7:12 PM

      Perhaps the fact that the recent crop of major leaguers suspended for 50 games never tested positive is incentive enough to keep on juicing if they know they can’t be caught.

      Then again, it is not a question if PEDs help a player or not, it is the fact that PEDs are banned and they are consuming banned substances and getting suspensions for it.

      Me personally, I find it more troubling and dangerous to have a known alcoholic being heralded as “the best player ever” while putting the life of people at risk when he is driving under the influence of alcohol (and on top of that, that Triple Crown batter has a history of hitting his wife which for me it would be enough to ban him from baseball for a violent conduct like that one).

  6. aphillieated - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:04 PM

  7. markofapro - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Ok, gents. (Assuming we are all men here and pardon if a lady is part of this dialogue)…let’s say he never used and was clean as the Brady Bunch, would you STILL pay him 4 and 75?

    • Kevin S. - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:13 PM

      I wouldn’t.

      Ruben Amaro would.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        He’d have to outbid my Angels first.

  8. drs76109 - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    What a rube.

    Signed. R. Amaro

  9. eagles512 - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Makes the Byrd signing much more palatable.

  10. macjacmccoy - Nov 27, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    I think 4 years of Cruz at $75m is a lot more acceptable than 4 of Peralta at $54m

  11. kev86 - Nov 27, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Id rather Granderson for 3.

  12. bronzestarusmc - Nov 28, 2013 at 5:15 AM

    The fact that they did or did not get caught is not the question. The acceptance of the penalties is the acceptance of guilt if something. I feel that a player owes his former team and it’s fans, and should have the balls to face them again!

  13. wallaceslaton15 - Dec 1, 2013 at 4:20 AM

    Alot of players stats decline after signing a big contract. It almost seems like the risk of getting caught juicing doesent outweigh the reward. Especially after u have already been awarded. Cruz is not worth the risk

  14. eddiek77 - Dec 1, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    Cruz would look good in right for the Pirates but hey, never mind. We’re trying to convince Lance Berkman not to retire.

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