Nelson Cruz to Seattle Mariners rumors might actually lead to something soon. Ken Rosenthal stated that the Mariners are going to offer Cruz a contract soon and he speculated that it could be in the range of three years and $40 million. According to a report from CBS late on Thursday (Jan. 30), the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers may be in the mix as well. Rosenthal's comments came during an episode of "Hot Stove" on MLB Network Friday morning (Jan. 31).
The allure of Cruz seems to be that he could be a good power hitter to place behind Robinson Cano in the batting order. One problem is that he has not hit well at Safeco Field during his MLB career. In 187 plate appearances at Safeco Field, the 2013 All-Star outfielder has a .238 batting average and .299 on-base percentage. He has eight home runs, but also has 50 strikeouts. That's basically a strikeout every game he plays. That's a very high rate for anyone in baseball.
Last season for the Texas Rangers, he was selected as a member of the American League All-Star team. He had a .266 batting average, 27 home runs, and 76 RBIs before getting suspended for violating the performance-enhancing drugs policy of the league. That 50-game ban might have hurt him in free agency this offseason, but quite a few teams appear to still be interested.
On the surface a Nelson Cruz to Seattle Mariners deal might make sense due to the lack of power that the team has in the lineup. A closer look at his numbers, though, might indicate that he could potentially strike out more than anyone else on the roster. Whether he signs with the team soon or not, expect that Cruz will be with a team by the end of the first week of February.
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