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Nelson Cruz and the Orioles have mutual interest in an extension

Aug 29, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT

Nelson Cruz Getty Getty Images

Jon Heyman reports that both the Orioles and Nelson Cruz “have expressed an interest” in a contract extension.

Of course it’s easy to express interest without getting down to brass tacks, and there’s no way the O’s and Cruz’s people are down to brass tacks at the moment. Everyone is happy with the crazy-productive player on the team-friendly deal, but if and when Cruz starts to shop his wares to other teams in November, he’s going to be in pretty high demand and thus will cost a lot more. To get something now will require the O’s to buy Cruz out of that which he was deprived of last year because of the Biogenesis stigma: a relatively wide open market for his services.

Well, wide open one once accounts for the fact that he’ll likely have a qualifying offer from the Orioles, but at least this winter he won’t be seen as damaged goods.

  1. SocraticGadfly - Aug 29, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    The O’s are better off giving him the qualifying offer, hoping another team not in the bottom 10 pays more, and taking the draft choice.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      Can they even do that? I thought for a player to be eligible for a qualifying offer they had to be with a team X number of years. Otherwise what’s to stop a team from simply reusing the qualifying offer on all of their players every year effectively locking them up or guaranteeing a top draft pick?

      • jinx21fan - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        Cruz is eligible for a QO. And the team can offer it every year. It’s a gamble both ways and the player can reject it looking for term … but look what happened with Drew.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        That’s crazy. There should be some sort of limit. Either a player can’t get a QO two years consecutively, or the player must be on a team for 2 years, or something. Seems like a system where a player could get abused pretty easily.

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        Just one full year, as I understand it. And yes, it could, theoretically, happen over and over on one-year contracts. That said, for it to happen to every player on a team, that team would have to be offering all of them one-year contracts every year.

      • jinx21fan - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        Here’s a good read on it. The process is going to be a point of contention in the next CBA talks for sure.

        http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/10763105/fixing-mlb-qualifying-offer-system?src=mobile

      • jinx21fan - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        And let’s not feel too sorry for the players here … this next round the price is a reported $15M. And the player has the right to decline the offer and look for the multi year deal. But with the draft picks, teams are a little more reluctant. The last 2 or 3 years (can’t remember) not one player accepted the QO.

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        Per Jinx, yea, it’s a gamble both ways. What if Kendrys Morales had said “yes” to the Mariners’ QO? He’d be getting $14.1M for being a big steaming pile of nothing.

      • larrymahnken - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        The player needs to be on the team on Opening Day – so you can’t trade for a guy and then extend a QO, or sign a guy in mid-April and extend a QO. I was surprised that Cruz signed before Opening Day because of this.

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:18 PM

        B-Ref gives Cruz 3.3 WAR so far this year, which is his best year since 2010. Yeah, if the O’s do a QO, there’s s good chance some other team will overlook recent past performance.

    • randomdigits - Aug 29, 2014 at 7:08 PM

      Teams don’t get another team’s pick anymore. The team that signs him loses a pick and the O’s gain a supplemental pick.

  2. pete2112 - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    I’m interested in what he’s going to be looking for. I would think a four or five year contract given his age and one that would take him to retirement.

  3. randomdigits - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    He had a heck of a first half but he has put up a 607 OPS in the second half.

    I want no part of an extension. Give him the QO and hope he doesn’t take it.

    • jinx21fan - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      I agree. He’s 34 and his second half has been as awful as the first half was tremendous. Anything over 2 years would be too risky, and I doubt he would sign for just 2. The QO’s are supposed to come in around $15M … you might get value from him at that for another year. I’d pray he declined it though.

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        Which, of course, suspension aside, is what the Rangers saw. Plus they saw he couldn’t field.

  4. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Is it brass tacks or brass tax? I never knew. What are brass tacks and why would anyone want to get down to them?

    • SocraticGadfly - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      Brass tacks. From carpet laying, is one theory. From a line of them on a counter, used to measure fabric, is another. It means getting down to basics.

  5. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    I’m ok with an extension, but no longer than 3, maybe 4 years, and it would have to be a little bit below market value. I don’t want him to go, but I don’t want to mortgage the future to keep him. Outside of the Jiminez deal we have done well to stay out of albatross’ contracts and I’d like to keep things that way.

  6. shelbysensation - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Scoutsays is asking all the right questions. I always thought it was brass tax, but I’ve only said it, never written it.

  7. larrymahnken - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    I’m surprised that Cruz is leading the league in homers despite only having 6 since the All Star Break,

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      His first half was that darn good. Plus a lot of other players fell off the second half aswell.

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