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The Mariners could be getting serious about Nelson Cruz

Jan 30, 2014, 10:07 PM EDT

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported yesterday that the Mariners were showing “strong interest” in free agents Fernando Rodney and Nelson Cruz. From what Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM is hearing, it sounds like they could be getting serious about signing one of them:

Of course, that the Mariners are interested in Cruz isn’t really news. Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik admitted as much during the team’s recent fan fest, but he also expressed concern about salary demands and the draft pick compensation factor. The Mariners have already given up their second-round pick for Robinson Cano, so signing Cruz would cost them their third-round pick. Keep in mind that they would also give up the draft pool money associated with each pick.

Bowden wrote earlier this afternoon that the Orioles and Rangers are also in the mix for Cruz. However, the Rangers are mostly being viewed as a fallback option in the event that his market completely collapses. Spring training is just a couple of weeks away, so something will have to give soon.

  1. doctorofsmuganomics - Jan 30, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    I understand the M’s outfield isn’t anything to write home about, but let’s not do anything drastic now

  2. elvin2014 - Jan 30, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    Seattle Mariners really need a good right handed batter….Nelson Cruz is “The One”….

  3. herrcules13 - Jan 30, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    If they need a right field choke artist, Cruz is the MAN!

  4. sportsnut101 - Jan 30, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    3 yr 35 mill no1 else offered him deal so I don’t see sumone saying feb oh snap we gotta have Cruz now lol

    If he wants 4 yr deal then 4 yr 40 mill

    • sportsnut101 - Jan 31, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      Hey Seattle fans who did thumbs down on my posting.
      U know ur team has sucked last 10yrs
      So u better hope he goes there

  5. NYTolstoy - Jan 30, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    The Ms are very confusing at the moment. They already have Logan Morrison and weren’t they also in on Kendry Morales? Cruz would be another outfield weak link and his offense is questionable after last year. They really dropped the ball after the cano signing.

    • ireportyoudecide - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:05 PM

      I think Morrison is a 1B, the OF would be Hart, Cruz and Ackley/Saunders/Guti. Cruz and Hart would probably rotate through DH as well. I just hope it’s only 3 years.

      • NYTolstoy - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:13 PM

        It’s still a crowded outfield and not very good defensively. Hart and Cruz at the corners is pretty bad and I believe the Ms also said they are going to use Morrison in the outfield as well. Which might be a better option then Cruz. Even then you don’t know what to expect with Cruz on offense and That ball park is not an easy one to hit in.

    • dan1111 - Jan 31, 2014 at 2:33 AM

      Logan Morrison was a low-level acquisition. He has been very bad for the last two years, and hopefully they are not counting on him as a starter.

      Cruz would definitely be an upgrade. How much of an upgrade depends on how good of a defender he is, and not all metrics agree on that.

  6. fbwangus8736 - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    Mariners are serious in their talks with Cruz? I thought they were just joking around!

  7. tuberippin - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    Trade for Stan-ton *clap clap, clapclapclap*

  8. uyf1950 - Jan 31, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    It remains to be seen just how much of an offensive addition Cruz would be to the Mariners offense. How much did the use of PED’s help him and playing in hitter friendly Rangers Park especially for RH’ed batters. I realize the Mariners helped their offense by moving the fences in but Rangers Park is still a much friendlier hitter park for RH’ed hitters. And considering his defensive challengers I think the effect of adding Cruz to the Mariners team might be a bit overblown.

    • pisano - Jan 31, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      My friend… I totally agree, on Peds is one thing, and he wasn’t all that great at that, but as you said he could very well be a liability on defense. If the price is right for the M’s he could help, but that team still looks like it has a long way to go to contend in the AL West.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 31, 2014 at 2:09 PM

        Cruz is going to turn 34 in July and because of the complete lack of interest for him by teams to this point my guess is 2 years with a 3rd year vesting option at about $12MM or $13MM per year is where he should come in at. One caveat is the salaries this season are all over the place and Seattle does tend to have to overpay a bit to get FA to sign their so their may be a bit of wiggle room to increase that number a bit.

  9. largebill - Jan 31, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    Considering his age and recent history, I thought Cruz might have to wait for a spring training injury to get a job. Mariners are making a big mistake if they commit to more than a two year deal. Defensively challenged outfielders don’t improve their range in their mid-30’s.

  10. texasrug - Jan 31, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Cruz hits bombs that will go out in any park.Was his ped use last year or a few years ago?

    • uyf1950 - Jan 31, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      This is by no means scientific by over his career Cruz has hit one HR for 15.6 AB’s in Rangers Park and one HR for 21.5 AB’s in Safeco. Considering Cruz is getting older he would be hitting in a “less” friendly ballpark you would expect his power numbers to go down. Just as you are going to have to expect Cano’s power numbers to go down moving from Yankees Stadium to Safeco. In Safeco I would both players HR numbers to max out in the low 20’s at Safeco.

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