Twins Sign Nelson Cruz To A One-Year Deal Worth $14 Million
The Minnesota Twins have signed free-agent slugger Nelson Cruz to a one-year deal worth a reported $14 million. The deal also has a club option for the 2020 season worth $12 million. Cruz spent the past four seasons with the Seattle Mariners. Before that, he was with the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. The six-time All-Star looks to bring veteran leadership to a young Twins team that recently lost Joe Mauer; they a primary leader in and out of the clubhouse.
Impact of Nelson Cruz
Nelson Cruz not only brings veteran leadership but brings a great bat to Minnesota. In 2018, Cruz batted .256 with 37 homers and 97 RBIs. He also slugged .509 and got on-base at a clip of .342. Cruz has also shown little decline in his power numbers. Since 2014, Cruz has not hit fewer than 37 homers and hasn’t hit under 22 since 2008. The Twins can count on at least another 30+ homer season from Cruz; who will look for 40 more homers to reach 400 in his career. Cruz will be slotted right in the middle of the Twins lineup with recently-acquired C.J. Cron, and sluggers Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano, and Max Kepler.
Veteran Presence of Cruz
With Joe Mauer retired, the Twins will also look to Cruz to bring veteran leadership to a young Twins team. Cruz was in the postseason with the Rangers from 2010-2012; also earning ALCS MVP in 2011, and with the Orioles in 2014. He also was with Texas in the World Series in 2010 and 2011. To a Twins lineup that has shown the damage they can do, Cruz will look to lead them in a weak AL Central and try to de-thrown Cleveland. With a fresh start in 2019, Cruz and the Twins will look for a huge bounce-back season and make a run at the Indians.
Photo Credit to Keith Allison via Flickr