MINNEAPOLIS – It wasn’t until February, but the twins finally got their husband back. Nelson Cruz is returning to Minnesota on a $ 13 million one-year contract pending physical contract, sources told MLB.com on Tuesday evening. It took longer than many expected to finalize the deal taking both sides into account
MINNEAPOLIS – It wasn’t until February, but the twins finally got their husband back.
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It’s a reunion that made sense for both sides. Cruz has been the Twins’ top batsman for the past two seasons, delivering consistent performance and average from the heart of the line-up. He played a prominent role in the 2019 Bomba Squad, which set MLB’s record for home races in one season. Cruz also made it known that he liked his situation in Minnesota, where he was part of a competing squad and was comfortable with the organization and clubhouse.
Even as he passed the 40-year mark, Cruz showed no signs of slowing down on the plate – and, in fact, has stepped up his performance on many levels.
Cruz originally signed with the Twins ahead of the 2019 season and had two of the best seasons of his career. In both campaigns, he led the club at Homers and OPS as the Twins won consecutive championships in the American League Central. His OPS + scores of 168 and 169 over the last two seasons were the top marks of his career (with the exception of the 2008 season in which he only played 31 games) and he received national recognition with the Silver Slugger Awards in both seasons and two top -10 placements in AL MVP Award voting.
In two seasons in Minnesota, Cruz scored 57 homers in 173 games .308 / .394 / .626. After the twins received $ 14 million in 2019, it was an easy decision for the twins to exercise his club option of $ 12 million for ’20 – and bring him back in ’21 for a similar price.
More importantly, having Cruz in the twins’ clubhouse as a leader for many of the young players on the heavily international squad, particularly Dominican thug Miguel Sanó, who had the best season of his career under Cruz’s wing in 19, deserves a contract extension Result.
The stability and voice that Cruz brings to the clubhouse could be even more important this season if the Twins could get some of their best prospects of meaningful roles for the team in the playoffs they hope will make their third year in A playoff team will follow the increasing competition from the White Sox.
Cruz also balanced the twins’ focus on community service with his commitment to charity in the Dominican Republic, for which he received the 2020 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award and the 2020 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award.
Even so, it wasn’t a quick reunion, especially given the uncertainty whether the batsman-designate would return to the National League for the 2021 season, which would have expanded the market for teams in search of Cruz’s service. That situation seemed clearer on Monday when the league announced that the MLB Players’ Association had rejected a proposal for ’21 that would include both a late start to the season and the universal DH, among other things. The agreement with Cruz came not long after that, late on Tuesday evening.
Cruz’s return should largely complete the Twins’ offensive, which last week also added shortstop Andrelton Simmons for a one-year deal, pushing Jorge Polanco to the second base and Luis Arraez to the vacant supply position. Minnesota also added right-handed Hansel Robles and left-handed JA Happ this off-season and could be in the market for additional pitching help to round out their off-season rounding off.
The 2021 Twins are finally taking shape – with their most productive batsman finally back in battle.