Hindsight is 20/20, we all know that.
But it doesn't take much to say the Baltimore Orioles got a good deal when they signed Nelson Cruz to a one-year, $8 million deal late in the offseason after the market for the former Rangers slugger died and died, and kept dying after he initially turned down a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer as soon as the 2013 season ended.
Apparently, depending on who you listen to/believe, the Rangers did make a play at Cruz as his market dwindled, thanks mostly to his PED suspension for the final 50 regular-season games of 2013. And there's not much doubt Cruz wanted to stay in Texas, where he'd played his entire big-league career with the exception of a handful of games in Milwaukee, who traded him along with Carlos Lee to Texas for Francisco Cordero.
But one year for $8 million? Why wouldn't the Rangers take a chance at that and make Cruz the full-time designated hitter in the heart of the Rangers' order? Sure would look good right now, especially considering what Cruz has done in his first month with the Orioles.
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With fellow former Ranger Chris Davis on the DL, Cruz has carried the Orioles' offense with a team-high 25 RBIs to go with a team-high seven homers and he's batting .284.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said he isn't surprised by Cruz's start in Baltimore.
“I’m not surprised by anything Nelson does," Washington told the Baltimore Sun. "He did it for us. He had his moments when he struggled, but at the end, he always had huge numbers. He can make a difference in your lineup. That’s what he’s doing in Baltimore. They’ve lost Chris Davis, but they’ve got that big sucker in that bandbox.”