Would the Twins cut loose their power-hitting first baseman, C.J. Cron? MLB Trade Rumors considers him a candidate, according to their recent post.
Cron hit .253/.311/.469 with 25 home runs this season, and the deadline to tender a contract is Monday. Cron’s .325 Weighted On-Base Average ranked 29th among MLB first baseman with at least 250 plate appearances.
MLBTR projects that if he’s offered the 1-year contract, it would be in the neighborhood of $7.7 million. The righty slugger turns 30 years old in January, and he hit 30 homers in 2018, his final season with the Rays. The Twins claimed him off waivers last winter as a positional replacement for Joe Mauer, who retired.
The Trade Rumors list outlines that 277 players on 40-man rosters were eligible for arbitration this winter, but that number is much lower now as rosters turn over in the early part of the offseason. Cron is one of 41 players on the list of players that the website authors believe could be cut loose rather than paid a raise through arbitration. Note: the list isn’t necessarily the 41 worst rostered players – it’s a reflection that the projected performance and salary are no longer a slam-dunk deal for the club. They said that they include any player “for which we can envision at least a 10-20 percent chance of a non-tender.”
Also noteworthy: Cron dealt with a thumb injury that throughout the summer that was so significant it required surgery this offseason. The Twins also replaced their head athletic trainer this year and have reorganized their medical staff behind the scenes.
If you believe that the injury was a significant hindrance to his performance, then you might expect that a healthier Cron would exceed expectations in 2020. If you don’t believe the injury led to a dip in performance then you might look elsewhere to find better value with that $8 million.