Rumor: Three Teams Interested in Ageless Nelson Cruz

His name has come up in trade rumors all season long, and his slugging all-star performance hasn't slowed down the talk. Several teams are interested in Minnesota Twins DH Nelson Cruz, according to Jon Heyman. 

Cruz hasn't let up a bit in his age-41 season, with 19 HR and a .302 average. His 19th an absolute missile on Monday night.

But let's examine each of these three top landing spots, as reported by Heyman.

Oakland A's

Pros: The Athletics sport the 3rd-worst production out of the DH spot in the AL. Oakland DHs have hit .225 with a .698 OPS, and only 13 HR. Cruz would be a huge bump up here.

Cons: The A's would be wary of having to take on the $4.5 million or so that would be left on his contract. 

Tampa Bay Rays

Pros: As effective and productive as the Rays' offense is, they could still use another big bat in the middle of their lineup. They have two players who are hovering around the 20 HR mark, as Cruz is, but both—Brandon Lowe and Mike Zunino—are also hovering around the Mendoza line in batting average. 

Another pro for the Rays, is that he will be a free agent after this season, and they will have to commit no further money to Cruz after 2021.

Cons: Speaking of money, as with the A's, the $4.5 million might be hard for them to swallow, depending on the prospect capital they'd have to sacrifice. 

Toronto Blue Jays

Pros: You can never have too much offense.... Can you? Adding Cruz would mean that, likely, Randal Grichuk would mostly be relegated to the bench, with his .220 average since June 1st. 

Cons: Let's start with the fact that the Blue Jays need pitching, pitching and more pitching. Not offense. They lead the major leagues in home runs, and they're in the top 5 in the American League in runs scored. 

Just as importantly, they use the DH spot to effectively cycle their outfielders (one of George Springer, Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel Jr.) plus Vlad Guerrero Jr. (and Grichuk) through the spot, which keeps them all fresh. Adding Cruz to clog up the designated hitter slot would mean that all of the aforementioned will need to be out of the lineup if they're to get a rest from playing defense. 


The best fit here is the Oakland A's. They need the DH boost most desperately, and could offer a couple of mid-level prospects. 

Plus, it would make up for the dreadful mistake they made in 2005, when they traded a minor leaguer named Nelson Cruz for someone you've never heard of. 17 years later, they are probably still regretting it. 

Retribution for the A's would be the best story here. 

Photo Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports