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Market finally heating up for Nelson Cruz

Feb 2, 2014, 12:11 PM EDT

cruz getty Getty Images

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe shares the info:

Nelson Cruz, OF, free agent — Momentum is starting to build in Cruz’s favor. While a one-year deal somewhere is still not out of the question, there are teams with righthanded power needs, and Cruz could benefit. The Mariners remain interested, but according to one major league source, “there could be up to four or five teams who could take the plunge in the end.”

Cruz was busted last year for PEDs and his free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, so it’s been a slow-moving winter for the outfielder. The Mariners are looking for more offense and would only have to give up a third-round pick to sign Cruz, but the salary demands were still an issue as of last week.

The Orioles and Tigers have been suggested as potential fits, and a return to Texas can’t be ruled out yet.

Cruz, 33, has averaged 35 home runs and 106 RBI per 162 games since the beginning of the 2009 season.

  1. pisano - Feb 2, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Good numbers since 09, but what are you going to get if he’s not using peds ? could be a gamble, plus he never was much on defense.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 2, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      My friend they are good numbers if teams look at it in a vacuum. He played in hitter friendly Rangers Park especially friendly to right handed batter. I think you could expect those number to drop in both Seattle and especially in Detroit. Plus the fact he’s not 28 like he was in 2009. He’ll turn 34 this July.

      • mmeyer3387 - Feb 2, 2014 at 5:18 PM

        I agree with you. Signing Cruz, is about common sense, not about punishing everyone linked to PEB’s. He has been punished, after all.Punishing lawbreakers are the responsibility of the MLB players, teams, union, and the commissioner. Of course fans will decide with their support level. This a sport and signing a player that can help your team is the teams right for improvement. But, common sense dictates that what level can he play without PEB’s, hitting in a hitter’s ball park, his poor defensive skills, and his age. All factors that a team needs to take in consideration. If someone takes him and he has a great season and the team wins, that is the objective.

  2. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Cruz, 33, has averaged 35 home runs and 106 RBI per 162 games since the beginning of the 2009 season.

    Cruz has been in the league for 9 years, played 159 games once, more than 124 two other times, and more than 108 two other times. Why pro-rate his numbers over something he most likely won’t play?

  3. cackalackyank - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    The market for all these guys is going to heat up in the next 13 days. Should be a fairly busy week or two for FA signings. Just sayin.

  4. jimmywho14 - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    34 years old, I’m shocked the Phillies aren’t trying to get him

    • Francisco (FC) - Feb 2, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      Too young.

    • hep3 - Feb 2, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      The Phillies? Sorry, they are in on 35 year old Vernon Wells.

  5. jolink653 - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    I hope Cruz gets an awful deal just to demonstrate that taking PEDs will not be rewarded with big money deals. The Blue Jays gave Melky Cabrera a pretty big deal after seeing what an idiot he was, and that just showed everyone that cheating is rewarded.

  6. dirtyharry1971 - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    Well you can count out the jays, they are busy pinching pennies this off season as usual

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 2, 2014 at 2:30 PM


      At this point, I have to assume you are the stupidest person on here. A young, hot hitting team like the Blue Jays and Nelson Cruz? rofl Why would a team as loaded up with hitting need with Nelson Cruz? So they can hit worse?

      • dirtyharry1971 - Feb 2, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        who the heck are you talking about young hot hitting team? The freaking bluegays? Let me guess you are new at this right? They were 10th in the AL in batting average which means only 5 teams hit worse just in case you can’t count how many AL team there are. 9th in OPS% 12th in striking out which they are famous for that. And the so called younger players like Gose and Pillar are lucky if they can hit their weight and are strikeouts just waiting to happen. Yea you might want to stick with nascar, I think you can actually follow that and might even know what you are talking about

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        Well look at who actually looked some stuff up! Now, let me attempt to decipher meaning from this mish-mash of cherry picked stats, crappy grammar, illogic, ranting and willful ignorance….

        Nope. Not a shred of meaning.

        By homeruns: Blue Jays were 4th in MLB last season with an excellent 185

        By OPS: MLB 11th with an OPS of .729 (natch, 8th in slugging)

        By RBI: 11th in MLB with 669.

        I bet that’s all better than anything your rooting interest did (do you even HAVE a rooting interest, idiot? I never see you anywhere but on Blue Jays posts. You’re like their number 1 fan).

        You enjoy being laughed at, don’t you?

      • dirtyharry1971 - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:29 PM

        my numbers don’t lie, I dont want to hear about NL stats because that’s apples and oranges. The numbers prove they are a ALL or nothing team and NOTHING has been coming up a LOT more. And the so called younger guys like Gose has been a ton of NOTHING, unless he learns to steal first base he will be completely useless, same for Pillar. And with that horrible starting pitching staff they have they can’t possibly score enough to cover up that problem, this is a team that’s stuck in the mud and is just spinning its tires.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:34 PM

        Oh please. Like “interleague play” doesn’t exist. lol

        Nice try, idiot.

        So you pick some young players still in their early 20’s, huh? Do you want me to list the early 20’s busts from all the other teams in MLB?

        Better yet, run away. You haven’t a leg to stand on with your farcical, idiot, ill informed, badly spelled, terribly punctuated, trolly comments.


      • dirtyharry1971 - Feb 2, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        what the hell does interleague play have to do with anything? Bottom line you can’t compare the two leagues and if you had half a brain you would know this but its clear you don’t have a clue. Stick with nascar trust me on this and oh yea one more thing, school is over and so is this conversation. I don’t have the time to talk to fans who don’t understand the game

      • cur'68 - Feb 2, 2014 at 5:21 PM

        Jesus, ‘harry. Shut up. The guy has you beat. You’re just embarrassing yourself now. Jeez.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Feb 2, 2014 at 10:17 PM

        The truth only embarrasses morons like yourself, anyone with a clue knows better about the bluegays and their chances at the postseason next year, NOT GONNA happen

      • cohnjusack - Feb 2, 2014 at 11:24 PM

        Ummm….you know there is a very good reason why comparing counting stats between the AL and NL is really silly, right?

        Here’s a hint:
        NL 9th place hitters — .462 OPS
        AL 9th place hitters — .633 OPS

        Hmmm…it’s almost as though they designate a player to hit for their worst hitter in the AL.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 2, 2014 at 11:36 PM


        Did you know, I spent the whole time waiting for dirtyharry to point this out? He never did. All his claims about “knowing more baseball” and he can’t even articulate something simple like this.

        What an idiot.

  7. cur'68 - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    Well, you can count out The Beaver Men; their OF and DH is set and the team over all is pretty stacked with hitting. They need a pitcher, not a mid 30’s, declining, steroid clouded, injury prone, OF/DH. Other teams are more in the market for Cruz. It’ll be one of the teams mentioned (most likely Seattle) but The Yankees could be in this one, too. That’s their demographic of player, after all.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Feb 2, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      Yea I forgot you got melky starting in the outfield, playing a corner outfield spot yet. He should be good for 4 HR’s this year, hahahahaha

      • cur'68 - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        /poo flung!

        Heya Chimpy. Another peanut? Sure. There ya go, boy.

        I see you’re showing the internets your usual level of stupidity again in the conversation above this one. That guy you’re tangling with knows how to look stuff up, y’know? I’d stop right now, I was you. You’re an Evil Empire fan, aintcha? That guy’s right. Yankees ranked below The BeaverMen in all those MLB-wide stats, too. You gettin’ pwned, Poo Flinger. Better just give up and go bathe, eh?

        Man. Yeah. Bathe. You stink. What did you roll in this time?

      • dirtyharry1971 - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        I see somethings never change, the truth still hurts. Just wait for the season to start that’s when the pain begins

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        So he’s a Yankee fan, is he? And he’s a stool throwing monkey whom you feed peanuts too? lol
        I love it. Lets see where the Yankees ranked compared to the Blue Jays in league wide hitting last season, shall we? Lets add strike outs, too…


        monkey-boy, you are one funny, funny little man!

      • djpostl - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        “Yankees ranked below The BeaverMen in all those MLB-wide stats, too.”

        Because they actually had their real lineup and all. Can’t wait until this season to watch the scrubs from Canuckistan cry about those back-loaded deals they took off the Marlins not working out again haha.

      • cur'68 - Feb 2, 2014 at 4:01 PM

        Yeah, a chimp, not a monkey, though. He isn’t very bright, eh? Its likely that we’re mocking a mentally defective or ill person. He does pretty much ask for it, but I don’t think he can help himself. Besides, he’s spent significant time incarcerated. I highly doubt he was any kind of power or authority figure in the jail. In all likelihood, he’s a no-account, inconsequential, jailhouse b*tch. That kind of thing can make a person a bit loopy.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Feb 2, 2014 at 5:02 PM

        this might come as a shock to you but the Yanks were killed by injuries last year but last year won’t have anything to do with this year because the Yanks are loading up and probably are not done yet. The jays on the other hand have done ZERO kinda like your life tool boy and that’s not gonna cut it, not when you consider they almost finished 30 games out of first and so far added some player I never heard off and a backup catcher who is gonna start for them, yea good luck with that!! And that horrible rotation? Yea well it didn’t get better this offseason so good luck with that mess. there is no future for the jays, they will also join the expos one day, trust me.

      • cur'68 - Feb 2, 2014 at 5:19 PM

        You know nothing, chimpy boy. Its so obvious. Like My Boys didn’t have injuries, huh? Like interleague doesn’t exist? Your team was TERRIBLE offensively due to hitter injuries and mine was terrible due to pitcher injuries. End of the day, injuries played a HUGE part in why those 2 teams finished as they did last season.

        The point here though is that My Boys don’t need Nelson Cruz. They don’t need more hitting. YOURS DOES. Every single stat you cite My Boys as being bad in YOUR TEAM WAS WORSE. MUCH WORSE.

        You amuse me. What else ya got?

        Peanut? Here ya go…

      • dirtyharry1971 - Feb 2, 2014 at 10:18 PM

        You don’t have a clue, the more you talk the little you prove to us what you know. I have forgotten more baseball then you will ever know and yes I know more about the jays then you do. Stick with nascar junior, school is OUT!

      • cur'68 - Feb 2, 2014 at 10:53 PM

        oh, this is too easy….

        Another peanut, boy? Jump for it! Higher! Good boy!

        Forgotten more baseball than me, eh? Ok. I’ll buy that. It ‘splains how you discount interleague play like it doesn’t even happen, why you persist in dealing with small sample sizes, and can’t even talk about your own team’s short comings at the dish.

        You’ve made some goofy damn statements in this thread, I’ll grant you. But I think your work in the comment above is THE BEST. The sheer irony of someone who spells and punctuates like you claiming that school is out? Pardon me while I giggle helplessly.

        Lets us parse this one out in your words, eh?

        1) the more you talk the little you prove to us what you know (sic)…. Yeah! THAT’S succinct! But, uh, wtf does it mean?

        2) I have forgotten more baseball then (sic) you will ever know….uh…what? Whatever. But wait, there’s more…

        3) I know more about the jays then (sic) you do….uh…ok. What?

        And then, THEN you finish it off by informing me that school’s out??? YOU tell ME that? Seriously, I’ve never laughed so hard….
        Tell you what my Ole Poo Flinging friend, School’s not out for you. Not by a long shot. Now, get back in there and hit the books. In fact, you better scurry on into remedial English post haste.

        Here. Have a peanut. Study hard.

      • joenash72 - Feb 3, 2014 at 7:26 AM

        Can an orangutan get a peanut around here, or is it limited to monkeys and chimpanzees?

        On the OP topic, hoping Mariners can trade for outfielder, rather than sign Nelson Cruz.

        Preferably Giancarlo Stanton or Matt Kemp. Use Taijuan Walker as centerpiece of the deal. Rather pay one of those guys big dollars than Cruz.

  8. weaselpuppy - Feb 2, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Aging past his prime years. Not much range, but what he gets to he plays well. Good hitter but not a complete player with the stick. Slow.Really slow. Busted for PEDs last year.

    Didn’t the Tigers just get rid of this guy?

    Though the Cardinals were willing to give him $52MM….

    Cruz can’t last a full season…no thanks.

    • cohnjusack - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      There’s an apt comparison!

      Here are a few differences though

      1. Peralta is a shortstop, who on average posted a .681 OPS. Cruz is a right fielder, who collectively put up a .759 OPS. Therefore, Peralta’s .815 OPS was FAR more valuable than Cruz’s .823

      2. Defensive metrics have Peralta as pretty good. They have Nelson Cruz as *awful*.

      3. Cruz plays in one of the best hitters parks in baseball. For his career, his home OPS is a whopping 178 points higher. For the average major leaguer, that difference is only about 20 points.

      4. Over the last 4 years, Peralta ranks 8th in WAR among shortstops. Cruz ranks 20th for right fielders.

      • spudchukar - Feb 2, 2014 at 4:18 PM

        And the Cards had a choice between ??? and Stephen Drew. They probably did overpay, but they have no one in their organization who can step in, and even after the signing are only entering the season around 100 mil.

        They are serious contenders and will be for the next 3-4 years minimum, with one obvious hole which they filled.

  9. shawnuel - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    Seattle has Hart and LoMo, both of whom are coming off injuries and are DH/1B types who will be forced to play OF. They REALLY don’t need another guy like that, especially with Justin Smoak at 1B. If they try to trade Smoak, I could see it, in a limited year (2 tops) deal. I hope to GOD they get outbid.

    • dondada10 - Feb 2, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      I don’t see the Mariners signing Cruz. It’s probably Cruz’s people claiming Seattle is interested in an attempt to drum up interest.

    • spudchukar - Feb 2, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      I am in your corner. And don’t forget Montero as another player in the mix. Like you say, maybe if Smoak is moved, but assuming Hart has recovered enough to play RF, then Seattle would be better off saving the cash, and passing on Cruz.

  10. rohlo - Feb 2, 2014 at 6:50 PM


  11. jazynaz - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    so how does a team know how many of those HR’s since 2009 were PED induced? just like melky, peralta, braun, et al who came before and will follow…when the REAL player steps up, teams have little idea what they’re going to get. and that’s a lot more expensive, and risky, than a box of chocolates!

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