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Nelson Cruz | Designated Hitter

Team: Baltimore Orioles
Age / DOB:  (34) / 7/1/1980
Ht / Wt:  6'2' / 230
Bats / Throws: Right / Right
Contract: view contract details
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FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mariners are more interested in Nelson Cruz and Matt Kemp than they are Hanley Ramirez.
USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported earlier this month that the M's were "aggressively pursuing" Ramirez, but it appears that he's not their primary target. Their interest in Cruz is nothing new, as they considered the slugger last offseason before he signed with the Orioles. The Dodgers are willing to listen to offers for Kemp but are likelier to deal Andre Ethier and/or Carl Crawford. Nov 18 - 8:49 AM

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Date:

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports said the Mariners are looking at a number of hitters, including Nelson Cruz.

Rosenthal also interestingly reports the club made an offer to Victor Martinez before he re-signed with the Tigers. A link exists between the M's and Cruz, as general manager Jack Zduriencik was the Brewers' scouting director when Cruz was a player there. Cruz has already turned down a three-year contract offer from the Orioles this winter.
Nov 12 - 7:42 PM

Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles met with Nelson Cruz and his agent on Tuesday.

It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two sides since the season ended. Cruz declined a three-year contract from the Orioles before testing free agency, but both sides remain open to getting something done. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported Tuesday that the slugger hopes to land a five-year deal, but that's probably a long shot. It's unclear whether the Orioles would give him four years. Cruz will turn 35 next year.
Nov 12 - 9:11 AM

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that Nelson Cruz is asking for a five-year contract.

Cafardo adds that, not surprisingly, the five-year demand "is a major stumbling block in serious contract talks." It only takes one team to go crazy and give Cruz the five years he wants, but it seems unlikely to happen. It would not be a surprise, however, if he manages a four-year deal. The Orioles reportedly offered Cruz a three-year contract before he hit the free agent market.
Nov 11 - 7:04 PM

According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Orioles offered Nelson Cruz a three-year contract before he officially became a free agent.

Cruz rejected the offer and decided instead to test the open market, but the O's are still lingering as a fallback option if he doesn't find a better deal. Cruz tallied 40 home runs and 108 RBI in 159 games this past season for the American League East champs, but he's a poor defensive outfielder and will turn 35 years old next summer. Three guaranteed years might be the most he can find.
Source: Buster Olney
Nov 11 - 4:48 PM

Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said Tuesday that he plans to have his first meeting with Nelson Cruz's agent this week.

Not surprisingly, Cruz rejected a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Orioles on Monday in favor of testing the open market. The Orioles are already negotiating with Nick Markakis and Duquette believes that they could keep both players.
Nov 11 - 3:10 PM

Nelson Cruz has rejected a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Orioles.

A no-brainer. Cruz had a tough time on the free agent market last offseason while being attached to draft pick compensation, but it should be a little easier for him this time coming off a year where he led the majors with 40 home runs. The 34-year-old reportedly wants a four-year contract.
Nov 10 - 5:40 PM

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that Nelson Cruz is seeking a four-year deal at "big bucks."

And that's understandable after Cruz led the majors with 40 home runs this past season. The qualifying offer from the Rangers severely affected his market last offseason, but the 34-year-old shouldn't have a major issue this time around. Still, the Orioles would understandably prefer something closer to a two-year deal rather than go four years. But that could ultimately take them out of the running.
Source: CBS Sports
Nov 4 - 1:38 PM

Orioles extended a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer to DH/OF Nelson Cruz.

There's obviously no way Cruz will accept coming off a year where he led the majors with 40 homers and drove in 108 runs. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reported over the weekend that while the Orioles would like to keep the veteran slugger, they are "definitely out" if another team is willing to give him a four-year deal.
Nov 3 - 5:02 PM

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are "definitely out" of the running if another team is willing to give Nelson Cruz a four-year deal.

It's hard to blame them. Cruz hit a major league-leading 40 homers and also drove in 108 runs this season, but he's 34, has had some health issues in the past and really should be limited to DH duties. Connolly notes that the O's "would love" to keep Cruz on a two-year pact, but he concedes that the slugger will "surely" get some three-year offers and "might get four years."
Nov 2 - 9:27 AM

Nelson Cruz said after Wednesday's elimination from the ALCS that he would like to stay with the Orioles.

The Orioles are expected to offer him a $15.3 million qualifying offer after the World Series, but Cruz will certainly aim higher after a season in which he hit 40 homers and had 108 RBI. He'll almost surely get a multi-year offer from a team, so the O's will have to pony up if they want to keep the 34-year-old.
Oct 15 - 7:59 PM

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles plan to make a qualifying offer to Nelson Cruz.

Of course, the Orioles have reportedly been pushing to sign him to an extension, so this is assuming he opts to test free agency. As reported last week, the qualifying offer this offseason will increase to $15.3 million. Cruz struggled to find a long-term deal last winter, partially because he was tied to a qualifying offer, but he shouldn't have any trouble this time around after batting .271/.333/.525 with 40 home runs and 108 RBI this season.
Source: CBS Sports
Oct 15 - 11:21 AM

Nelson Cruz said Thursday that he has not had "serious" extension talks with the Orioles.

Cruz, an impending free agent, added that he simply wants to concentrate on winning the World Series. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported Thursday afternoon that the O's were "pushing to complete" a deal with the 34-year-old slugger, but it doesn't sound like anything will happen before the end of the O's postseason run. Cruz batted .271/.333/.525 with 40 home runs and 108 RBI in 159 games during the regular season.
Oct 9 - 3:58 PM

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Orioles are "pushing to complete" a contract extension with impending free agent slugger Nelson Cruz.

Baltimore's front office is gettin' busy with it on the eve of the ALCS. The Orioles have already worked out a three-year, $40 million contract with shortstop J.J. Hardy, who was set to become a free agent in November. And now they're trying to lock up one of the market's premier power bats. Cruz had an .859 OPS, 40 home runs, and 108 RBI in 159 games during the regular season and the 34-year-old is 6-for-12 so far in the postseason.
Oct 9 - 1:11 PM

Nelson Cruz blasted a two-run home run off David Price on Sunday, powering the Orioles to a 2-1 victory over the Tigers a sweep in their American League Division Series.

The Orioles will advance to the ALCS for the first time since the 1997 season where they were defeated by the Indians. Cruz has been an absolute thorn in the Tigers side in the postseason the last few seasons, smacking eight home runs and driving home 18 runs in just nine games. With his 2-for-4 effort, he finished this series hitting .500 (6-for-12) with a pair of homers and five RBI.
Oct 5 - 8:12 PM

Depth Charts

Batters
PosRoleName
C1Matt Wieters
2Caleb Joseph
3Steve Clevenger
1B1Steve Pearce
2Christian Walker
2B1Jonathan Schoop
2Alexi Casilla
SS1J.J. Hardy
2Paul Janish
3B1Chris Davis
2Kelly Johnson
3Ryan Flaherty
4Jimmy Paredes
5Manny Machado
LF1Alejandro De Aza
2Quintin Berry
CF1Adam Jones
RF1David Lough
2Alex Hassan
DH1Nelson Cruz
2Delmon Young
Starting Pitcher
PosRoleName
S1Chris Tillman
2Wei-Yin Chen
3Bud Norris
4Miguel Gonzalez
5Kevin Gausman
6Ubaldo Jimenez
7Tyler Wilson
8Mike Wright
Relief Pitcher
PosRoleName
R1Zach Britton
2Tommy Hunter
3Darren O'Day
4Andrew Miller
5Brian Matusz
6Brad Brach
7T.J. McFarland
8Pat McCoy
9Ryan Webb
10Oliver Drake