DH,Util - MIN
Nelson Cruz has agreed to a one-year deal worth $13 million with the Twins.
This was the most likely destination all along for Cruz, who seemingly tried to wait as long as possible to sign to see if the National League would adopt the DH and give him more leverage in negotiations. Cruz will be 41 years old this season but there's been little decline in his overall performance, as he batted .303 with 16 home runs in 53 games last year. He'll be eligible at utility only for fantasy purposes, but that, combined with his age, will likely depress his draft price and make him a value in fantasy leagues.
Free agent DH Nelson Cruz and the Minnesota Twins have re-engaged in contract discussions, according to Twins beat writer Dan Hayes.
Team president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said that discussions with Cruz's representatives are "active and productive." It sounds as if there are some more details to work out such as the length of the deal but with no word on the universal DH for 2021, Cruz ending up in the American League, especially with a club he's familiar with, seems to make the most sense at this point. The veteran has spent the last two seasons in Minnesota and has been highly productive. Most recently, slashing .303/.397/.595 with 16 home runs and 33 RBI over 185 at-bats in 2020.
Free agent Nelson Cruz has "ongoing interest from multiple teams" in the AL and NL, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
Morosi also noted that fellow free agent Marcell Ozuna is drawing similar interest. It's unclear whether or not MLB will employ the universal DH once again and that explains why the market has been slow for players such as Cruz and Ozuna. Both players are coveted and talented enough to land gigs in either league but the universal DH would make things easier, particularly for Cruz who is entering his age 40 season.
Nelson Cruz is unlikely to sign anywhere until there is clarity on whether or not the league will employ a universal DH in 2021, according to Jon Morosi of the MLB Network.
Evan at age 40, Cruz could be considered one of the top offensive free agents on the market after another stellar year in which he slashed .303/.397/.595 with 16 home runs and 33 RBI across 185 at-bats for the Twins. It's understandable that he would want to wait and see if the league moves forward with a designated hitter in the NL as that would broaden the amount of teams he could suit up for in 2021. As of now, no decision on a universal DH has been made for next season. Stay tuned.
La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes that Nelson Cruz is seeking a two-year deal this offseason.
Cruz had a fantastic age-40 campaign this past summer, hitting .303 with 16 homers and a .992 OPS in 53 games. It's unclear if a team would be willing to pay him into his age-42 season, but he would likely have a lot of interest if he was willing to accept a one-year contract. He would have even more of a market if the National League sticks with the universal DH next season.