Nelson Cruz Reportedly Joining Minnesota Twins

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 22: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Seattle Mariners bats in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 22, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Another veteran free agent has a new team with multiple reports indicating Nelson Cruz is headed to the Minnesota Twins on a short-term deal. Cruz is a 14-year veteran with 360 career home runs. He is coming off an impressive four-year run with the Seattle Mariners and should bring a steady power presence to the Twins lineup.

Jeff Passan with Yahoo! Sports shared the report. Cruz’s deal is expected to be for a guaranteed $14 million the first year with a $12 million option:

Nelson Cruz Reportedly Joining Minnesota Twins

Cruz debuted with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2005 but did not break out until 2009 with the Texas Rangers. He hit 33 home runs while stealing 20 bases and earning his first All-Star selection.

Cruz’s 2009 season would be the start of an impressive streak for the slugger. Since then, he has hit at least 22 home runs for 10 straight seasons. Among that streak is a career-high 44 home runs in 2015, and he has hit at least 37 homers each of the last five years.

The power-hitting Cruz joined Seattle during his age-34 season, but that did not slow him down. From 2015-18, Cruz slashed .284/.362/.546 with 163 home runs, 95 doubles, 347 runs scored, and 414 RBI. The Mariners were unable to reach the postseason during his time with the team, but Cruz was a consistent performer throughout. He departs Seattle with 16.8 bWAR during his time there, good for 20th on the organization’s all-time list.

Twins Impact

For the Twins, they get a consistent, high-impact bat on a short-term deal. Cruz may be 38-years-old, but he has shown his bat can still play as a DH. Cruz’s 2018 numbers would have been tops on Minnesota’s roster in home runs and RBI while ranking second in slugging percentage and fourth in OBP. For a team looking to improve its power after hitting 166 home runs last season, signing Cruz at the reported cost looks to be a slam dunk.

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