Report: Twins are “in the mix” for slugger Nelson Cruz

The Twins are making a play to improve their 2019 team, if you read into the MLB Winter Meetings rumor mill. The club is one of the teams “in the mix” for former Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz, according to Jon Heyman.

Cruz is a free agent after starring for the Mariners for years. Last season the underrated slugger hit .256/.342/.509 with 37 home runs. An intriguing free agent, to be sure.

But the more critical number might be 38. As in: Cruz is 38 years old. He was considered something of a late bloomer when he broke onto the scene 10 years ago. And he’s been a terrific hitter (and durable) since 2010 with the Rangers, Orioles and most recently the Mariners. He’s a DH at this point in his career, and the Twins appear to have an opening in that role.

Cruz has made 5 of the past 6 American League all-star teams. The past three seasons combined he has hit .278/.359/.538, defying the age-related decline that a lot of hitters experience at the same stage in their career.