Os add Cruz on one-year deal

SARASOTA, Fla.— The Orioles have agreed to terms on a one-year, $8 million contract with free agent Nelson Cruz, a Major League source confirmed to MLB.com on Saturday.

The deal, pending a physical, was first reported by ESPNDeportes and comes just days after the team made their first major move in signing right-handed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to a four-year, $50-million deal. Cruz, 33, adds another power bat to Baltimore’s lineup, giving the O’s a much-needed threat out of the designated hitter spot. A right-handed hitter, Cruz has at least 22 homers each of the last five seasons and his arrival in Camden Yards, is seen mainly as a platoon DH and occasional left field. Cruz’s contract, like Jimenez, also contains performance incentives.

Because Cruz rejected a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Rangers, the Orioles will lose a draft pick, their 55th overall, in signing him. But that wasn’t seen as a huge obstacle given that Jimenez also had a qualifying offer from the Indians, and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said recently the club would evaluate losing picks on a “case-by-case” basis.

And the case for the Orioles in 2014 is simple, with Duquette acknowledging that the team has a window of success with its current core in place. While the Orioles also had interest in switch-hitter Kendrys Morales, they weren’t keen on his asking price and it’s believed Cruz’s camp came down recently. Whether it was the rumors of the Orioles after more pitching to trade for a bat, or the nature of how late it is in the offseason, Baltimore picked up steam on Cruz in the past 24 hours and was able to swing a deal that fits within their payroll.

Over an 109-game season last year — he missed 50 games because of a suspension due to the Biogenesis scandal — Cruz hit .266 with 27 homers and 76 RBIs. His arrival, which would require a corresponding 40-man roster move- could make it tough for Orioles’ DH hopeful Nolan Reimold to get consistent at-bats, and Cruz could also spell left fielder David Lough once in a while. Left-handed hitter Henry Urrutia is considered the top internal candidate for the other half of DH.

5 Comments

I must admit I am utterly surprised at the Orioles front office. Is this a part of some plan? Is the a reaction to the fan disappointment and cocern for warmed seats? Is this a concern for the players frame of mind for playing this season?

Whatever it is I am in awe of the sudden movement.I may not have been in on the particular players, but to see initiative and some Bold Movement is making what was not just a dismal off season but a off season of regret. What is really surprising me is it appears the Budget is moving toward $110 IF they sing Cruz.

BUT to put a Serious Positive on this off season the Orioles MUST sign Davis and Hardy to extensions now. It would put an exclamation Point (!) on the Bold Attitude they are entering the season. I would have to add to my 18 tickets. Maybe I would have to turn them iin and see if I could get season tickets.

Whatever is going on keep on keep on going!

I have not felt enthused enough til now to put a 25 man roster together:
Rotation: Tillman(R), Jiminez(R) Chen(L), Matusz(L) Chen (L). I want to see Brian given a serious opportunity. We need dependable lefties in the rotation to compete against the pressure from the lefty offense heavy East. Gonzalez looks to be again more injury prone and a better fit to go to the bullpen.
Batting order IF Cruz
Lough (Speed and ability to bunt)
Markekis( his use of the bat and ability to go to opposite fields)
Davis
Jones
Cruz
Hardy
Manny
Wieters
Flaherty

Bench
Weeks
Reimold ( Leaving Urrita in minors for defensive work)
Clevenger

Bullpen
Stinson
Hunter
Norris
Webb
O’Day
2 of these the other traded- Britton, Johnson, DeLa Cruz

Jones needs to be in the 3 hole for protection so davis can continue to see better pitches.
More like
Markakis(unless lough shows some conistency at the big league level)
Machado
Jones
Davis
Cruz(pending)
Hardy
Weiters
Lough/Reimold
Weeks/Flaherty

Clevenger

Rotation
Tillman
Jiminez
Chen
Norris
Gonzalez
Other wise I agree with you bullpenwise except aceves can deal

Don’t see the necessity for Cruz. We should have enough bench strength for the DH spot. However, if the FO wants a DH, why not go for a contact hitter. We already have plenty of HR power.

Hey “College Professor,” see me after class for detention. The Orioles used a parade of weak hitting scrubs, bench warmers, and utility players at DH last year. How’d that go? How was production out of the DH spot? Your homework is to look that up, come back, and let us know. But here’s a hint: NOT TOO FLIPPIN’ GOOD! Half a clue might have been how often the DH batted 8th or 9th in the order. Why even use a DH in that case? I might have preferred Morales, but Cruz will LIKELY be better than not adding anybody. Really, Doc, how many winning teams used bench “strength” at DH?? Think!

College Prof sees no need for Cruz. The Orioles made no moves outside of sighning a fourth outfielder at best last offseason (McLouth) and wound up winning 85 games and out of the playoffs. Don’t forget that the Orioles are in the best division in baseball. Check out the combined stats of all the players the Orioles used at dh last year and 2012. Just remember, the Orioles had the worst production from the dh slot in the league. Goober good response to college prof.

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