Padres, Nelson Cruz Agree To One-Year Deal

The Padres and slugger Nelson Cruz are in settlement on a one-year deal. The deal is pending a bodily however the Bryce Dixon shopper is slated to obtain a $1MM assure.

Once Cruz will get right into a recreation, will probably be the nineteenth straight season for the veteran, who will flip 43 in July. He’s lengthy been probably the most constant sluggers within the league however he is coming off a down season. From 2008 to 2021, he hit 434 dwelling runs, essentially the most of anybody within the majors at the moment. His batting line over that stretch was .280/.350/.536 for a wRC+ of 136, indicating he was 36% higher than the league common in that point.

However, the newest a part of his profession has been a distinct story. After being traded from the Twins to the Rays on the deadline in 2021, his manufacturing slipped. He hit simply .226/.283/.442 after the deal for a wRC+ of 95. He signed a one-year, $15MM take care of the Nationals for 2022 and tried to get again on monitor however truly fell additional. He hit .234/.313/.337 final 12 months, ending with a wRC+ of 85.

As the season was winding down, Cruz informed reporters that he was going to bear eye surgical procedure, since he had been coping with some irritation that was blocking his imaginative and prescient. He stated that it had been affecting him for a couple of 12 months and a half, which traces up with the interval by which his manufacturing cratered. Assuming the operation was successful, it is potential that he may get again to his earlier ranges of manufacturing. But on condition that he is outdated by skilled athlete requirements, it is potential that typical age decline may be an element.

There’s actually some threat concerned, but it surely appears to be one which Padres’ president of baseball operations AJ Preller is keen to take. Preller has proven a bent to present possibilities to gamers he beforehand employed when he was with the Rangers and Cruz matches that invoice. He was a Ranger from 2006 to 2013, the time when he broke out and had a few of his greatest seasons. If the gamble pays off, it’ll add a potent bat to a San Diego lineup that’s already fairly harmful.

Cruz is strictly a delegated hitter at this level in his profession, having taken the sphere solely as soon as up to now 4 seasons, which was seven innings of first base motion for the Rays in 2021. It’s potential that Cruz and the left-handed hitting Matt Carpenter may platoon within the designated hitter function, however Carpenter can also be able to enjoying some first base and outfield, giving supervisor Bob Melvin some potential to get them each into the lineup, if he is so inclined.

Financially, the Padres have shot their payroll as much as new heights this winter. Roster Resource calculates their spending at $250MM, which might simply be a franchise report. The figures at Cot’s Baseball Contracts have their earlier excessive at $211MM, which was final 12 months. Perhaps extra importantly, the membership is ready to be a luxurious tax payer for a 3rd straight season, having additionally paid the aggressive steadiness tax in 2021 and 2022. Roster Resource pegs their CBT quantity at $267MM, properly past the $233MM base threshold and the second $253MM threshold. As a third-time payer within the second tax bracket, they’re presently slated for a 62% tax on any further spending. If they transcend the third line, which is $273MM, the speed jumps all the way in which to 95% and their prime decide within the 2024 draft can be dropped by ten slots.

Héctor Gómez of Z101 Digital first reported the 2 sides had been in settlement on a one-year deal. Robert Murray of FanSided first reported the $1MM wage.

Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.

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