Mariners Sign Big Hitter Nelson Cruz
A year ago the Seattle Mariners missed out on the MLB playoffs and struggle to consistently produce runs. Heading into the new 2015 season, they aim to rectify both problems.
Bringing In the Power
They got off to a great start on Monday afternoon, when they signed big power hitter Nelson Cruz to a four-year contract worth approximately $57 million.
It’s a massive deal (and likely the last) for the 34-year old slugger, who continued to put up elite numbers in 2014 with 40 home runs and 108 RBI in 159 contests.
Seattle reportedly wanted to bring Cruz in last year, but the smasher ended up signing a one-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles. Now finally with the Mariners, Cruz is fully expected to slide in as their designated hitter and will likely bat cleanup behind Robinson Cano.
There had been various rumors leading into Monday in regards to Seattle’s plans in free agency. While the team also supposedly had Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez on their radar previously, they ultimately chose for Cruz’s power to help their offense.
It’s also worth pointing out that Cruz initially turned down a three-year deal to stay on with the Orioles, who made the playoffs last season. Cruz clearly was looking for a bigger pay day with an extra year, while it’s also possible he views the Mariners as a team on the rise. With his power added to the mix, that’s a real possibility suddenly.
Playoffs in Sight?
In fact, the Mariners weren’t half bad in 2014, going 87-75 and finishing just one game out of the wild card spot the Oakland Athletics secured ahead of them. With extra offense and veteran leadership added to the roster via Cruz, the Mariners could easily rise up and be a legit contender in 2015.
With a strong pitching rotation already in place, the Seattle Mariners could suddenly be a team to keep an eye on going forward.
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