(1090 The Fan) — For the first time in weeks, the rumor mill at Safeco Field seems to be quiet. However, the prospect of Nelson Cruz joining the Mariners hasn’t quite died out yet.
A report out of a Venezuelan newspaper claims Cruz is “close” to signing with Seattle. Whether there is validity to the report remains to be seen.
Still, the Mariners are not done with their offseason chores because one of the top items on their list was to stock up on power hitters for the middle of the order to surround Robinson Cano. One free agent hitter who had been on Seattle’s radar was Shin-Soo Choo, who signed with the Texas Rangers last week for $130 million for seven years. And, with Choo’s move to Texas, the likelihood of Cruz returning to the Rangers is slim to none.
The fact that Cruz is still available may indicate front offices around the league are scoffing at the price tag of the 33-year-old who served a 50-game PED suspension in 2013. Cruz’s camp was rumored as expecting something in the five-year, $75 million range.
Since becoming an everyday player for the Rangers, Cruz has averaged 27 home runs and roughly 81 RBI per season. The two-time All-Star has a lifetime on-base percentage of .327 and an OPS of .823. His highest Wins Above Replacement number (WAR) came in 2010 (4.3) — last season he finished with a 2.0.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)