Nelson Cruz RF BAL 2 Months

Nelson Cruz is scheduled to make his spring debut on Saturday.

Cruz just finalized his one-year, $8 million deal with the Orioles on Monday, but he's ready to jump right into game action. The 33-year-old figures to see most of his at-bats out of the DH spot this season, but he could also play some left field.

Nelson Cruz RF BAL 2 Months1 Comment

Orioles signed OF/DH Nelson Cruz to a one-year, $8 million contract.

The Orioles are expected to hold an introductory press conference with Cruz on Tuesday. This wasn't the deal that the 33-year-old had in mind at the start of the winter, but a number of factors conspired against him, including the draft pick compensation issue. However, the Orioles are hoping that they have found a bargain. Cruz is a good fit in the middle of Baltimore's lineup and should continue to post strong power numbers in the hitter-friendly ballparks of the AL East.

Nelson Cruz RF BAL 2 Months

Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that the Orioles have reached an agreement with Nelson Cruz on a one-year, $8 million contract.

The deal is pending a physical which he'll undergo on Sunday, and also includes an additional $750,000 that can be earned in incentives. The 33-year-old slugger will likely see most of his time as the Orioles designated hitter, and should have plenty of RBI chances in the middle of a strong O's lineup.

Nelson Cruz RF BAL 2 Months

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Orioles are close to a deal with free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz.

After already surrendering their first round pick for signing Ubaldo Jimenez this week, the draft pick penalty for inking Cruz became much less of a hurdle. Cruz is likely to see most of his time in the designated hitter's role with the O's. He moves from a hitter's paradise in Texas to another ballpark that's above average for right-handed hitters, and should hit in the middle of a very potent lineup leading to a plethora of run and RBI opportunities.

Nelson Cruz RF BAL 2 Months

Rangers GM Jon Daniels said Wednesday that he hasn't ruled out re-signing outfielder Nelson Cruz.

"We've touched base every week or so," Daniels said. "Nellie's highly regarded here. We have a good relationship with [his agent]. We made our moves [for Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo] and kind of expected [Cruz] to sign elsewhere. But we'll see where it goes. It's a unique situation for him as a free agent." Cruz has struggled to attract offers this winter because of last year's PED bust and because his free agency is tied to draft pick compensation. The Orioles, Mets, and Mariners have been linked to Cruz in recent weeks, but no progress has been made toward an actual deal.

Nelson Cruz RF BAL 2 Months

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal writes that the Orioles "seem to prefer" Nelson Cruz over Kendrys Morales.

Nelson Cruz RF BAL 2 Months

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, a Mets official severely downplayed a report that the team is in continued dialogue with free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz.

Nelson Cruz RF BAL 2 Months

Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that the Mets have had "some dialogue" with Nelson Cruz's camp, but a fit is "highly unlikely."

The Mets have already signed Curtis Granderson and Chris Young this winter and their payroll is nearly tapped out, so it's no surprise that Cruz is a long shot. General manager Sandy Alderson on Thursday downplayed any more potential big moves for the club, as it appears the odds of them signing Stephen Drew have also decreased.

Nelson Cruz RF BAL 2 Months

According to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, talks between the Mariners and Nelson Cruz are "on hold."

The Mariners could be playing hardball, or they could be looking to pour some of their remaining resources into other areas of need -- like the starting rotation. Hisashi Iwakuma was diagnosed this week with a finger strain and top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker has been slowed in camp by right shoulder soreness. Cruz has struggled to attract offers this winter because of last year's PED fiasco and because his free agency is tied to draft pick compensation.

Nelson Cruz RF BAL 2 Months

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that the Mariners are "cautiously optimistic" they'll be able to sign Nelson Cruz.

It's seemed to have trended that way in recent weeks. The M's continued a busy offseason by agreeing to terms with Fernando Rodney earlier Thursday, and Nightengale says the club is "all in" for the 2014 season. Cruz's price has dropped a lot since the early winter, but he might still be able to pry a third year out of Seattle.