REPORT: Seattle Mariners Acquire Nelson Cruz
The Seattle Mariners have reportedly agreed to terms with Nelson Cruz on a four-year deal worth $57 million, according to Mike Oz of Big League Stew. Last year, Cruz led the Orioles to the ALCS while having a career year of 40 long balls to go along with 108 RBI. While considering the production that Cruz provided the O’s with last year, this is a pretty good deal for the Mariners, who have been looking for a right handed power bat in their lineup. With the Mariners narrowly missing the postseason last year, Cruz is sure to help with a huge power element as the Mariners finished dead last in OPS last year in the American League. It looks as if the Mariners are going all in after signing Kyle Seager to a huge deal last week to go along with the already hefty spent Robinson Cano, now a fan favorite in the Northwest.
Although, even with these moves, it looks as if the Mariners aren’t done making moves just yet. Cruz will be a huge boost, but they still need help at the back end of their lineup and might find some as names like Yoenis Cespedes, Matt Kemp, and Nick Markakis can still be found on the market. The Mariners also have to compete with the likes of the Athletics and Angels, and possibly the Rangers, when it comes to their own division, which will prove to be tough. The Athletics also have been wheeling and dealing with the Josh Donaldson deal last week and are sure to make more moves shortly to bolster their lineup after loosing a few of their players to trades and free agency. While the Angels are probably staying put for the most part, they are still the top dog in the division after winning the race easily last year only to lay an egg against the Royals in the postseason. And, who knows, the Rangers could hit their stride and figure some things out after a disastrous year as they’re only three years removed from a World Series appearance.
Either way, this is a very good acquisition for the Mariners as Cruz has proven to be a solid player throughout his career, even without the steroids. While this won’t solve all their holes, it’s sure to plug some of them. No matter which way it shapes out, the American League West will sure be entertaining to watch this offseason as well as throughout the regular season, as it might be the deepest division in the American League, if not the entire league.
-Zach Mitchell (@Rakaziah)