Not Being Able To Match Nelson Cruz’s Contract Offer Is A Major Disappointment

Sports and Bets — December 1, 2014 at 4:48 pm by

Nelson Cruz has agreed to a four-year, $58 million contract with the Seattle Mariners, and it makes me want to fucking puke. That’s $14.5 million a season for a guy that lead the world with 40 home runs last year. That’s practically peanuts compared to the contracts that teams are handing out these days. I know that the Orioles didn’t want to give Cruz four years with him turning 35 on July 1 of next season, but with power at such a premium in today’s MLB, I think that it’s a concession that the O’s had to make. Runs per game in 2014 were the lowest that they’ve been since 1981, and premier power hitters like Cruz don’t grow on trees. Plus, if anyone could get the most out of Cruz in his later years, it’s Buck Showalter. Buck masterfully handled Cruz last season, DHing him for 89 games and putting him in the field for 70 to enable him to stay healthy and productive throughout the year. With Buck managing, it wouldn’t have shocked me at all to see Cruz continue to be an invaluable member of the Birds’ lineup for the next four years. And even if he did fall off during that last year, is it really that big of a deal? Fuck four years from now, this team is in win-now mode. They ran away with the AL East last season, went all the way to the ALCS, and now, they’ve let their best hitter walk out the door. Dammit all to hell.

Having voiced my extreme displeasure with not bringing back Cruz, I will admit that there are still a lot of viable outfield/DH candidates out there for the O’s to pursue. The three players being most frequently linked to the Orioles are Torii Hunter, Melky Cabrera, and Matt Kemp via a trade. I’d seriously doubt that the Birds would take on the remaining $107 million of Kemp’s contract over the next five years, but it has been reported that there have been talks between the clubs. Obviously, the Birds are still looking to bring back Nick Markakis as well. Not re-signing Cruz is a tough pill to swallow, but it could end up being a blessing in disguise. The O’s will receive a compensatory pick, and one of the aforementioned players could come in and tear the cover off the ball. Dan Duquette certainly boasts a high batting average when it comes to player acquisitions, so it all might work out for the Birds in the end. Only time will tell. For now, though, I’m gonna pour out some Boh for our beloved slugger. Thanks for the memories and good luck in Seattle, Nellie.

cover pic: Hardball Talk

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