Every couple of days or so, a new report circulates saying the Detroit Tigers are the logical landing spot for Nelson Cruz. The brass have indicated on numerous occasions that they are done making “big” moves, which stands to reason that Cruz is off the table. But could another AL Central team be a possible landing spot for the left fielder? Bleacher Report seems to think so.
But even with his accomplishments, Cruz might still be forced to take a disappointing contract from a bottom feeder like the Minnesota Twins instead of a contender like the Detroit Tigers. And despite 1500ESPN.com’s Darren Wolfson initially tabbing the Twins as a “long shot” for Cruz’s services, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the veteran outfielder doesn’t have a ton of leverage in free agency.
Twins’ outfielders were among the worst, combined, in baseball last season. The Twins witnessed league-worst production in park-adjusted wRC+ (86), batting average (.227) and fWAR (-1.6) in 2013 from their outfielders. So with Josh Willingham, Alex Presley, Oswaldo Arcia and Jason Kubel currently occupying the outfield slots and designated hitter role, respectively, the addition of Cruz’s bat would be more than welcome. - Ben Berkon
Just like the Tigers, if the Twins sign Cruz they’d immediately lose a first-round draft pick. This would be an even bigger loss for Minnesota because it is the fifth pick whereas the Tigers pick near the bottom.
And therein lies the rub for Cruz. His asking price is too high and the cost of a first-round draft pick might be too much for most teams to trade for a player who will be 34 years old. He’s also played only one game (the wild-card game) since August because of his PED suspension.