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Tigers downplay interest in Nelson Cruz

Jan 25, 2014, 1:05 PM EDT

Nelson Cruz Getty Getty Images

Nelson Cruz is still looking for a home in free agency and the Tigers have surprised us with some late offseason additions before, so some have speculated that they could make sense as a possible match, but general manager Dave Dombrowski downplayed the possibility when asked by reporters at the team’s annual TigerFest today:

As of now, the Tigers are set to go with a platoon of Andy Dirks and Rajai Davis in left field this season. The Tigers traded Prince Fielder to the Rangers over the winter while Jhonny Peralta signed a deal with the Cardinals, so Miguel Cabrera is the only legitimate power threat in the lineup at the moment. Cruz could help change that, though he obviously comes with a ton of questions, ranging from how he’ll perform after his PED suspension to his age and poor defense. He would also cost a draft pick. It’s not hard to see why teams are hesitant to make a large investment.

  1. wolverine307 - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    Don’t do it Dave. We already have a DH – Martinez. If it weren’t for the lost draft pick – maybe. But not at that price. If you’re concerned about power now, it’s kinda late in the game to fix it. Shoulda thought about that as you were making the roster more like a NL club.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      Dave said he doesn’t read any post on HBT.

      • doctorofsmuganomics - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        Makes sense with the Fister trade.

  2. isaiah432013 - Jan 25, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    1. No team wants to give up a draft pick for a player guilty of using steroids.
    2. Those same teams don’t see the gamble worth the risk. (There’s a good chance he will see a significent downturn in his stats and health.)

    That said, Cruz looks likes he’s on the shelf until some team in desperation rings his phone.

  3. nymets4ever - Jan 25, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    Overpaying for this guy would just cap a horrific offseason for the Tigers.

  4. cohnjusack - Jan 25, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    I don’t know what his asking price is, but unless it’s pretty low it makes sense to stay away. There are so many red flags with the guy

    1. He’s coming off a 50 game PED suspension
    2. He’s tied to draft pick compensation
    3. He’s turning 33
    4. He can’t get on base (.319 OBP last 3 years)
    5. He can’t field
    6. He’s spent his career in a very hitter friendly park and has dramatic home/road splits
    Home: 92 HR, .294/.356/.556
    Away: 65 HR, .242/.299/.435

    • paperlions - Jan 25, 2014 at 6:22 PM

      Yeah, team’s aren’t staying away from Cruz because of anything related to PEDs, they are staying away from him because he 33, not very good at baseball, and asking for far too many dollars and years.

    • 78mu - Jan 25, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      With numbers like that you wonder why he didn’t take the QO from the Rangers.

      Did he really think there was a GM somewhere that was ignorant of those stats and would be happy to give him a long term deal and forfeit a draft pick?

    • mmeyer3387 - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:33 PM

      You are absolutely correct, he’s a big risk that wants to be paid like an twenty-eight year old super star in his prime. The real question is not only; why should the Tigers take a chance on him at such a price. But why should any team wish to pay such a price with someone with his baggage?

  5. shipdog7 - Jan 25, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    False Power? I remember Pudge Rodriquez dropping 30 pounds in the off season claiming it wasn’t the drug testing starting, but a divorce he was going through that caused the physical change in him. A lot of supporters bought it. His home runs and rbi’s fell off the chart drastically for years after. You don’t need him. That is what Don Kelly is for. lol

  6. xjokerz - Jan 25, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    if hes willing to take a 1-2 year deal with my tigers, id be all for it.

    he clearly needs to RE-UP his value on the open market after the steroid disaster of last season.

  7. Minoring In Baseball - Jan 25, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    I think he’d be a waste of money and a draft pick at this point for Detroit. If he finds a home, all the best to him. I just don’t think he’s a good fit for the Tigers right now.

  8. joerymi - Jan 26, 2014 at 12:37 AM

    This makes no sense. Every indication is that the Tigers have changed philosophy. Every deal related to a position player since trade deadline of last year has focused more on defense and speed. Platooning Dirks and Davis is a much better idea, especially with a draft pick tied to Cruz. The Tigers have essentially no farm system after Castellanos, so they don’t have room to play with draft picks or their signing money.

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