The Seatte Mariners have finally nabbed a big right-handed power bat. The Mariners have come to an agreement with Nelson Cruz for four years and $57 million. Robinson Cano now has a bat to go along with his in The Mariner’s lineup.
Cruz comes just one year after the Mariners tried to get him last winter, but ownership reportedly shot down the deal in-hand, leaving Cruz to sign a bargain deal with the Orioles, where Cruz cracked 40 home runs splitting time between DH and 580 innings in the outfield. Cruz is now 34, and he’ll turn 38 in the middle of the last year of his deal with Seattle.
Cruz still presents the same red flags he did before, including a skillset that doesn’t age well. His strikeout rate improved last year, he still showed substantial power and production outside of Texas, and seems to have eased some of the fears that were attached to him a year before. The Mariners are buying high, trying to bolster their roster as they attempt to get over the top.
Even though Cruz just hit 40 bombs, this signing will come different reactions. Many writers are still sour on Cruz’s long-term outlook, and rightfully so. This deal has a chance to look good in the first year or two, but then pretty bad in the years after as Cruz inevitably succumbs to age and declining power. The Mariners are in a window to win a World Series right now, and maybe not in three years as Cano and Felix age. It’s a risky bet, but the M’s are also in a position they haven’t been in for a long time.