The Minnesota Twins re-signed Nelson Cruz late Tuesday night. Jeff Passan of ESPN and Jon Morosi of MLB.com confirmed that the team has agreed to a one-year contract with the veteran designated hitter, worth $13 million. The four-time Silver Slugger has been one of the game’s most potent hitters the past several seasons.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 3, 2021
Cruz undoubtedly exceeded his value in his previous deal. The six-time All-Star slashed a very consistent .308/.394/.626 with 57 home runs and 141 RBI in two seasons with the Twins. His name was quietly brought up in the AL MVP conversation, finishing in the top-10 for voting in both seasons with Minnesota. Cruz is coming off the best two offensive seasons in his 15-year career.
A Look Back At Cruz’s Career
A native of the Dominican Republic, Cruz offers nothing from a defensive standpoint. Entering his age-41 season, the 16th of his career, he’s one of the oldest players in the league. Cruz has 417 home runs in his career where he also spent time with the Seattle Mariners for four seasons, Baltimore Orioles for one season, and Texas Rangers for eight seasons after his rookie season with the Milwaukee Brewers. Cruz was a pivotal member of the Rangers World Series runs in 2010 and 2011. In the 2011 ALCS, he won the ALCS MVP award after hit six home runs with a .364/.440/1.273 slash line.
However, in his final season with the Rangers, Cruz did serve a 50-game suspension for violation of MLB’s drug agreement into the sport’s investigation. During his four-year, $57-million stint with the Mariners, Cruz lived up to every bit of that contact. Over those four seasons, Cruz hit .284/.362/.546, despite his home games in the pitcher-friendly Safeco Field. His 2018 season was by far the worst of his four seasons in Seattle.
Cruz’s free agency relied heavily on whether the National League would continue to employ the designated hitter in 2021. Now, with his veteran presence, Nelson Cruz can finally settle in with the Twins and focus on the upcoming season.
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