The Twins have re-signed DH Nelson Cruz to a one-year, $13 million deal, as ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported on Tuesday night:
Nelson Cruz will receive $13 million this season with the Twins, as @Feinsand said. While a reunion with Minnesota was long expected, the likely lack of a designated hitter in the National League this season hastened the agreement and brought Cruz back to where he is beloved.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 3, 2021
Though he’s virtually unplayable in the field — he’s DH’d for all but nine games since the beginning of the 2017 season — Cruz is one of the best and most consistent hitters in baseball, even into his 40s. The 16-year veteran has hit 37 or more homers and driven in 93 or more runs in each of his six 162-game seasons, and he hit .303/.397/.595 with 16 homers in 214 plate appearances during the abbreviated 60-game season in 2020.
Cruz’s return provides another boost to a Twins lineup that already added Andrelton Simmons this offseason. While Minnesota may have trouble fending off an improved White Sox team in the AL Central, a slugger as impactful as Cruz certainly gives them a serious chance to battle for the division title.