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Nelson Cruz Rumors: The Ageless Wonder

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Nelson Cruz rumors have been hard to come by this offseason. Heck, any rumors have been tough to unearth in what seems to be a slow-moving market, akin to two years ago. The big stars like Trevor Bauer, George Springer, and JT Realmuto remain on the market. Beyond that, there are still a ton of free agents left for teams to sign and the ageless wonder, Nelson Cruz, is one of them.

Nelson Cruz Rumors: By the Numbers

Nelson Cruz has seemingly done what many players before him could not do – fight off Father Time. Cruz is 40 years old, and he seems to be aging like a fine wine. The past two years with the Minnesota Twins for Nelson Cruz have been nothing short of spectacular. Cruz has a slash line of .308/.394/.626 over 173 games with an OPS of 1.020. He’s walloped 57 homers and drove in 141 runs.

Nelson Cruz found himself in the top 10 of a lot of statistical categories during the shortened 2020 season. He held a 164 wRC+ which is tied for seventh in MLB with Mike Trout. He was eighth in OPS, 10th in slugging and eighth in home runs. Even in his elder years, Cruz is a highly productive hitter.

The Market

For all of the good in Nelson Cruz’s bat, he is strictly a designated hitter at this point in his career. Unfortunately for Cruz, MLB does not believe they will have a universal DH in 2021. This limits his market to American League teams, which includes his former team in the Minnesota Twins. This is a huge reason that we don’t hear too many Nelson Cruz rumors

Cruz is not a fit for many teams, and the biggest fit would be for him to return to the Minnesota Twins. After all, one could argue that he has had his most productive years there, even if it’s late in his career.

If Nelson Cruz were to move on from the Twins, there is only a couple of teams where he would fit. Sure, the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, and Detroit Tigers could use him as a mentor to young rosters and a DH, but it is hard to envision Cruz suiting up for a rebuilding team. The White Sox could be seen as a contender, given how paltry a showing their DH role had with the bat last season. Edwin Encarnacion didn’t quite get the job done for the White Sox, and Cruz could fit into what could be one of the best offenses in 2021.

Nelson Cruz Rumors

There has not been a whole ton of chatter to dissect with Nelson Cruz rumors. The biggest piece of information that has come out is that he is looking for a two-year deal. Given how the market seems to be shaping up, it may be a tough task finding that deal for a 40-year old that only has a bat to use.

The best fit remains the Twins. The manager of the Twins, Rocco Baldelli, has been on record that he would love to have Nelson Cruz back in a Minnesota uniform. However, even with the outpouring of love for him, it seems that Cruz is content to wait out the slow market. Cruz is monitoring the universal DH decision and will likely hold off until there is a resolution, one way or the other.

For what it’s worth, the Twins have made some contact with the slugger. The most recent news is of a one year offer to Cruz, however, that deal is likely off the table according to the StarTribune. The Twins do not seem to be engaged with the 40-year-old presently, but that could change as the market becomes clearer and other names come off of the board.

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