The Minnesota Twins wasted no time being involved in Winter Meetings rumors as they appear set to meet with Nelson Cruz’s agent.
The Minnesota Twins didn’t waste much time getting involved in some talks at the Winter Meetings that would catch our attention. For most of the day Monday, chatter had been happening on Twitter that was pointing to the possibility that the Twins had their eye on free agent DH Nelson Cruz.
This isn’t an entirely shocking turn of events as the Twins coming into the offseason were speculated as a possible fit for the free agent Cruz. MLB Trade Rumors even predicted that the Twins would land Cruz. After the post we covered earlier from LaVelle E Neal III it is a bit surprising to hear of these developments as it seemed the Twins may not want to spend much money on a DH only type player.
Nevertheless, as Darren Wolfson was tweeting out Winter Meetings notes today he mentioned that the Twins were set to meet with Cruz’s agents. Then later in the day, Jon Heyman sent out a tweet that confirmed the Twins interest in the veteran slugger.
Cruz may be 38-years-old, but that doesn’t mean he is done and washed up. For years baseball has been waiting for his production to drop off and it simply hasn’t. In 2018 he posted a .256/.342/.509 and a .850 OPS, a 134 wRC+, and .361 wOBA.
Cruz is best known for his ability to hit home runs and hit 37 of them in 2018. In fact going back to 2014 he has hit 40, 44, 43, 39 home runs in seasons from 2014-17. So as the Twins have missed a power bat in the middle of their lineup Cruz should certainly fill that need. As a right-hander Cruz will provide something for a Twins lineup it has missed probably since the one great season of Josh Willingham in 2012.
Now Cruz likely won’t come at too discounted of a rate. Especially since the Twins really have no guarantee to be World Series contenders in 2019 they will need to pay the slugging right-hander to attract him to Minnesota. As has been a theme with this front office, he will likely only command a one year deal but it will be in the neighborhod of $15 million.
Thankfully the Twins theoretically have that type of money to give to a player like Cruz. It would take care of the DH spot in their lineup and likely move C.J. Cron and Tyler Austin into a platoon with one another. With the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays reportedly also in on Cruz there are no guarantees he will end up in Minnesota. This news does show us the front office may not be totally ready to just stand pat moving into 2019.