Nelson Cruz-ing

Posted on June 16th, 2014 by Matt

The qualifying offer in Major League Baseball has become one of the most-controversial elements of the collective bargaining agreement due to its effects on many prominent free agents. When a player turns down a qualifying offer from his previous team and becomes an unrestricted free agent, there is compensation attached to him if he were to sign with another team. That team would have to forfeit a high draft pick to the previous team if they are to sign the player to a free agent contract. Among the more-prominent players that have been affected by the qualifying offer recently include Kendrys Morales, Stephen Drew, and Nelson Cruz.

Despite being one of the more-productive power hitters in baseball over recent years, Nelson Cruz found his free agent market less than robust when he started shopping his services over the winter. Cruz initially had cruzlofty expectations for his contact, but those hopes were dashed as the market started to take shape and it became clear that there weren’t as many suitors as Cruz and his agent had hoped. Without a doubt, the qualifying offer and associated draft pick had done some measure of damage to the kind of contract that Cruz could receive.

However, that was not the only issue. Cruz had a suspension for performance enhancing drugs in his past, and doesn’t offer much in the way of defense to go along with his power at the plate. Those elements, when added together, made for a small market and fewer dollars than many expected. In the end, Cruz would take a one year contract from the Baltimore Orioles for just $8 million. His hope was that he could use the one year deal to build his value and make a larger splash next off-season. So far, that plan is working out beautifully.

Impressive Start

Through the first six or seven weeks of the 2014 season, Nelson Cruz has been powering the Orioles offense with an OPS north of .900 and a league leading home run total. As far as $8 million contacts go, Nelson Cruz is giving the Orioles about as much value as possibly could be expected. At the moment, he is playing more like an All-Star than a one year contract recipient.

Of course, that begs the question – can this kind of performance continue? The answer to that question likely has everything to do with health. If Cruz can stay healthy, he has a long track record of solid performance at the plate which would lead one to believe that he can remain highly productive all season long. At age 33 however, there is always the possibility that Cruz will break down at some point over the summer and have to miss part of the schedule. The Orioles, and Cruz himself, obviously hope that won’t happen.

 



2006 Topps Chrome Nelson Cruz Rookie Auto Red Refractor Bgs 9 MINT AUTO 10 01/25 picture
2006 Topps Chrome Nelson Cruz Rookie Auto Red Refractor Bgs 9 MINT AUTO 10 01/25
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NELSON CRUZ 2012 TOPPS TRIBUTE AUTOGRAPHS ONYX GOLD 1/1 #TA-NC BGS 9.5/AU 10 picture
NELSON CRUZ 2012 TOPPS TRIBUTE AUTOGRAPHS ONYX GOLD 1/1 #TA-NC BGS 9.5/AU 10
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2015 Topps Museum NELSON CRUZ & JONES Dual Jumbo Lumber Bat Relic Booklet 1/5 picture
2015 Topps Museum NELSON CRUZ & JONES Dual Jumbo Lumber Bat Relic Booklet 1/5
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Nelson Cruz 02/10 2012 TOPPS CHROME 4 COLOR PATCH AUTO Autograph picture
Nelson Cruz 02/10 2012 TOPPS CHROME 4 COLOR PATCH AUTO Autograph
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Topps Living Set #60, Vladimir Guererro RC, Xander Bogaerts, Nelson Cruz PR 3581 picture
Topps Living Set #60, Vladimir Guererro RC, Xander Bogaerts, Nelson Cruz PR 3581
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2006 Topps Triple Threads Nelson Cruz Auto RC Gold Refractor Rookie Card /50 HOF picture
2006 Topps Triple Threads Nelson Cruz Auto RC Gold Refractor Rookie Card /50 HOF
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Nelson Cruz signed game model Marucci bat. MLB and Fanatics authentication. picture
Nelson Cruz signed game model Marucci bat. MLB and Fanatics authentication.
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2006 TOPPS CHROME BLACK REFRACTOR /200 NELSON CRUZ RC BGS 9.5/10 CARDREGISTRYINC picture
2006 TOPPS CHROME BLACK REFRACTOR /200 NELSON CRUZ RC BGS 9.5/10 CARDREGISTRYINC
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Nelson Cruz Seattle Mariners Signed Marucci Game Model Bat Fanatics. picture
Nelson Cruz Seattle Mariners Signed Marucci Game Model Bat Fanatics.
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Nelson Cruz Seattle Mariners Signed Majestic Green Replica Jersey Fanatics. picture
Nelson Cruz Seattle Mariners Signed Majestic Green Replica Jersey Fanatics.
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Nelson Cruz Seattle Mariners Signed Majestic Ivory Replica Jersey Fanatics. picture
Nelson Cruz Seattle Mariners Signed Majestic Ivory Replica Jersey Fanatics.
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Nelson Cruz Autographed Framed Red Majestic 2015 All Star Jersey MCS 22718 picture
Nelson Cruz Autographed Framed Red Majestic 2015 All Star Jersey MCS 22718
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