Nelson Cruz takes a pay cut to chase a ring with the Padres

The San Diego Padres have reportedly signed free agent slugger Nelson Cruz to a one-year, team-friendly contract.

The San Diego Padres have undoubtedly been one of the more aggressive teams this offseason. That was understandable, considering they were three wins away from reaching the World Series this past season.

They made lucrative offers to free agents like shortstop Trea Turner and outfielder Aaron Judge but to no avail. They did, however, sign Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts to an 11-year, $280 million contract. Now, they have added yet another big name to their star-studded roster.

According to FanSided MLB insider Robert Murray, the Padres and Nelson Cruz have agreed to terms on a one-year, $1 million contract. As Murray mentions in his tweet below, Cruz wanted to win a World Series and was willing to take less money on a contract.

Nelson Cruz agrees to team-friendly deal with Padres

Cruz has been in the major leagues since 2005 and has yet to win a World Series title. He came close on two occasions, in 2010 and 2011 when he was a star outfielder for the Texas Rangers. Ever since, Cruz hasn’t made it to the Fall Classic.

In 2021, Cruz had a strong first half to the season with the Minnesota Twins, where he slashed .294/.370/.537 while recording 19 home runs, 50 RBI, and 80 hits through 85 games. He made it to the All-Star Game for the seventh time in his career and was ultimately traded to the Tampa Bay Rays at that year’s deadline in exchange for two Top 10 prospects.

In his 55 games played with the Rays, Cruz slashed .226/.283/.442 while recording 13 home runs, 36 RBI, and 49 hits.

Last offseason, Cruz signed a one-year contract with the Washington Nationals. Through 124 games played, Cruz recorded a .234 batting average, a .313 on-base percentage, a .337 slugging percentage, 10 home runs, 64 RBI, and 105 hits.

Cruz now gives the Padres additional power in their batting order alongside Manny Machado and Juan Soto. With San Diego falling in five games to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS, they are going all-in to make their first World Series appearance since 1998.

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