Free Agent Player Profile: Could Nelson Cruz Become A Yankee?


Coming off a monster season in 2014, in which he led the league with 40 home runs, Nelson Cruz will definitely be looking to cash in this off-season. Could that cash come from the Yankees?

Last off-season, Cruz rejected a $14 million qualifying offer from his former team, the Texas Rangers, electing to become a free agent. The gamble didn’t pay off for Cruz, as no one showed any serious interest in him in free agency, feeling the 34-year-old was on the decline. He ended up signing a 1-year $8 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles, right before the start of spring training.

It turned out to be the steal of the century for the Orioles, as Cruz had by far the best year of his career.

Now, with Cruz a free agent, and the Orioles likely not having the means to retain him, he will be a major name to watch for on the market. The Orioles have already extended him a qualifying offer, but it is a near certainty that he will decline it.

It is doubtful, but definitely possible that Cruz could find himself in the Bronx next season. Cruz would help to add the power the Yankees were missing last season, and could help to spark their offense.

However, with Carlos Beltran already occupying right field, along with Jacoby Ellsbury, and Brett Gardner in center and left, and Alex Rodriguez most likely going to be the full-time DH, there would be no place to put Cruz. Plus, with Cruz going on 35 years of age, the Yankees will likely be wary of giving any position player near that age, the kind of multi-year deal Cruz will no doubt be seeking.

Do the Yankees have the means to sign Cruz, if they truly wanted to? Absolutely. Who couldn’t they sign if they wanted to? However, it is just not a very likely fit. Possible? Yes. Probable? No.

Keep on the lookout for what does transpire with Cruz, and all the other free agents out there, as the off-season gets fully underway!