How 40 Homers Trumps A Steroid Scandal: Nelson Cruz Signs With Mariners For $57 Mil
The Mariners passed on Nelson Cruz last season when he was a relative bargain. Now? Well, Seattle got him (as first reported by El Caribe in the Dominican Republic. ESPN.com says that the deal is pending a physical). Here's the receipt:
— MLB (@MLB) December 1, 2014
That's what you get for ignoring the Black Friday sales.
Actually, the Mariners wanted Cruz this past offseason, when he was renegotiating with the Orioles. Seattle passed due to a policy of not signing players with links to performance enhancing drugs, and Cruz signed with the Orioles for one year, $8 million (he hit .271/.333/.525 with 40 home runs and 108 RBI).
According to the Tacoma News Tribune, the Mariners were ready to sign Cruz last season for $7.5 million in 2014 with a club option of about $9 million for 2015, before ownership nixed the deal.
The primary concern, which all clubs shared, was how Cruz, then 33, would respond after being caught and suspended as part of the Biogenesis drug scandal.
But 40 homers apparently trumps a steroids scare, and now Cruz is the right-handed power the Mariners really need. He'll most likely be a DH, or left-fielder.
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