Nelson Cruz Heads to Mariners

Posted on December 29th, 2014 by Matt

After a great season in Baltimore which saw Nelson Cruz lead the major leagues with 40 home runs, Cruz is taking his power and heading to the Pacific Northwest where he will attempt to boost a Mariners team that fell just one game short of the playoffs in 2014. Cruz provides much needed right handed power for the Mariners, where he figures to see most of his playing time at DH. While Cruz is already 33 years old, and will be 37 during the final year of his new four year contract, the Mariners will hope to keep him healthy by keeping him out of the outfield the majority of the time.

The Potential Upside

Looking at the glass half full, the Mariners hope that Cruz can represent one of the last pieces that they needed to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2001. If Cruz can replicate most of his production from last season with Baltimore, he will form a formidable middle of the order group along with Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager. While hitting 40 home runs again, in the larger Safeco Field, seems like a longshot, even a 30 home run season may be all that the Mariners need. After all, Seattle led the American League in ERA last season, and will be returning the majority of that pitching staff for 2015.

The Potential Downside

One the other side of the equation, Cruz is a slugger nearing his mid-30’s – a pointcruz where many power hitters begin to decline. If his power starts to go away quicker than expected, most of his value will be gone along with it. Cruz doesn’t offer many other notable skills, as his value is tied directly to the amount of power he is able to bring to the order. As a DH, Cruz will have to keep hitting for the next four years if the Mariners are going to get a good return on their investment.

What’s Next?

For the Mariners, right field appears to be the final spot that needs to be filled before the roster will be ready to head to spring training in 2015. Most likely, the Mariners will look to make a trade to fill that spot in right field, whether it is a big name like Justin Upton or Matt Kemp, or a small acquisition. If they are able to locate a quality right fielder to add to the everyday lineup, Seattle could enter the season as the favorite in the difficult A.L. West.

As for Nelson Cruz, this contract represents what he has been looking for over the last couple of years. He signed a one year deal with Baltimore last year in order to prove his value – which he did, and then some. The reward is a lucrative four year deal, and he will now attempt to help complete the Mariners return to postseason competition.


2011 Topps Marquee Nelson Cruz Acclaimed Impressions Dual Patch Auto /70 Rangers picture

2011 Topps Marquee Nelson Cruz Acclaimed Impressions Dual Patch Auto /70 Rangers

$27.99



2007 Topps Chrome Nelson Cruz Red Refractor /99 #241 picture

2007 Topps Chrome Nelson Cruz Red Refractor /99 #241

$13.00



Nelson Cruz Hits Memorabilia  Name Plate 4Color Game-Used Patch  /10 Mariners picture

Nelson Cruz Hits Memorabilia Name Plate 4Color Game-Used Patch /10 Mariners

$29.99



2022 Topps Gilded Nelson Cruz Gold Etch Blue Refractor Auto 19/50 #GEA-NC PSA 10 picture

2022 Topps Gilded Nelson Cruz Gold Etch Blue Refractor Auto 19/50 #GEA-NC PSA 10

$49.99



Nelson Cruz  2021 Topps Platinum - Refractor  -  Twins-  # 227 picture

Nelson Cruz 2021 Topps Platinum - Refractor  - Twins- # 227

$1.50



2006 Upper Deck Nelson Cruz Rookie Milwaukee Brewers picture

2006 Upper Deck Nelson Cruz Rookie Milwaukee Brewers

$0.99



2022 Topps #104 Nelson Cruz Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Card picture

2022 Topps #104 Nelson Cruz Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Card

$1.00



2006 Upper Deck Nelson Cruz Texas Rangers picture

2006 Upper Deck Nelson Cruz Texas Rangers

$0.99



2022 Topps Heritage Black Border #1 Albert Pujols Miguel Cabrera Nelson Cruz HR picture

2022 Topps Heritage Black Border #1 Albert Pujols Miguel Cabrera Nelson Cruz HR

$44.99



Nelson Cruz 1/1 Topps Archives Signature Series 2022 On Card Auto Rangers picture

Nelson Cruz 1/1 Topps Archives Signature Series 2022 On Card Auto Rangers

$99.99