The case can be made that Nelson Cruz was the best free agent acquisition any team made in MLB this season. He is on pace for a career year, with 14 home runs already and we’re not even out of May. At this rate, he’d go over 50. While that may not be likely, his career high is 33, so he figures to obliterate that, assuming he stays healthy and continues to have a great year.
Cruz is on a one year deal and figures to be in demand next off-season. That said, he will be 34 this summer, has only played more than 130 games once his career, and has hit more than 30 homers just once. My point is, as great as this year might be for Cruz, how long of a deal do you really want to give a player in his mid-30’s coming what is a great year, albeit an aberration in his career?
I have been very impressed with Cruz, and he is a wonderful clubhouse guy. Hardy is a free agent, Markakis will be when they don’t pick up his $17 million dollar option. Davis and Wieters will be heading into their final season under contract. The Orioles are going to need to shell out some serious money to keep some of their best players, but I would be careful about going too high on Cruz.
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