The Minnesota Twins have beaten out the opposing clubs to sign free-agent, Nelson Cruz.
Cruz's contract is reportedly worth $14.3 million for this upcoming season. He will also be receiving a team option worth $12 million for the 2020 season. If the Twins decide not to exercise his option, then the buyout for him would cost $300K.
The Twins were reportedly not the only team interested in signing Cruz either. There were also two other teams that were seriously interested in his services. Those teams included the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Cruz will turn 39-years-old on Canada Day, but for those of you who are reading this outside of Canada, it will just be July 1, 2018. The veteran has still been a very productive hitter despite being in his late 30's.
Last season showed signs of a little regression from what Cruz has produced in the last few seasons before. However, the six-time All-Star was still able to record 37 home-runs, 97 RBI's along with a .256 batting average.
Those 37 home-runs ranked Cruz eighth in home-runs throughout the American League. Which shows he can still produce at an All-Star level, which is also why he was able to command $14 million for next season.
Although, last season may be the start of what's to come for Cruz. Even though he mainly only has to worry about hitting, he is starting to show signs that he won't be around the game for much longer.
Cruz's slugging percentage was the one big regressions he suffered last season. His percentage dropped .040 from just the season before. He also appeared in the fewest games in a season since 2013.
He was benched in those games due to him needing more rest and time to recover. Which definitely shows that this could continue for the remaining seasons that he is in the league for. This is a big reason why he also only received a contract that guarantees him for just one season.
There's no question that he will still be a productive hitter for the Twins next season. It's just a matter of question if he will be able to appear in more than 140 games next season, due to needing more rest between games and series he plays in.
What This Means
Cruz should provide the Twins with that middle of the order bat that they will be able to pair next to Miguel Sano in their lineup. Even with him being towards the end of his career, he should still be able to produce at least 30 home runs and around 90 RBI's next season.
However, if the Twins exercise the second year in his contract then this will likely be the last deal he will ever sign in the MLB. Because it would be hard to imagine a lot of teams lining up to sign a 40-year-old player who can only serve as the designated hitter.