Orioles Reportedly Closing in on Nelson Cruz

Nelson Cruz #17 of the Texas Rangers reacts after hitting a three-run home run in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 24, 2013 in Anaheim, California. .

Well, after acquiring right-handed hurler Ubaldo Jimenez to a four-year fact this week, the Orioles are once again shopping around.

They may be closing in on another big-time purchase and one sorely needed.

The Orioles probably need another bat – mainly, a designated hitter – to contend and fortify their lineup. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that they are ready to strike a deal with Nelson Cruz.

Seriously, I guess now is a good time as any to be aggressive.

Then again, despite the Orioles inactivity on the high-dollar free market for the past four or so months until recently, maybe the restraint is showing to be worth it.

From CBS Sports: Free agent slugger Nelson Cruz is close to a deal with the Orioles, according to people familiar with the deal.

The Cruz signing, once finalized, would be the second major signing within days for Baltimore, which is obviously going for it now. The Orioles will have one of the better lineups in baseball once Cruz is in the fold.

There are still a couple issues to be resolved, according to sources, though a deal looks extremely likely.


Cruz had 27 home runs with 76 RBI and a .266 batting average in barely more than two-thirds of a season last year, yet like a lot of other free agents who had qualifying offers and thus a draft choice attached, found the free-agent market slow. Cruz has an excellent clubhouse reputation, but he also had the Biogenesis-related PED suspension last year that cost him 50 games and hurt the Rangers' playoff chances.

Cruz was one of the top hitters on the free agent market but his free agency was clearly affected by the draft choice. The Mets were among teams to show early interested before opting for Curtis Granderson. The Orioles were willing to give up a second-round pick after surrendering the first-rounder for top starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.

I don’t for Cruz’s suspension; however, his bat would be a plus for Baltimore. How much of his performance the last several years was PED aided, we’ll never know; however, it’s looking more and more like the Orioles mean business and see themselves as a viable contender.

As long as he does not play much in the field, I’ll be happy if he’s signed to a contract with Baltimore.