While the Twins continue to work on bringing back Nelson Cruz, the team is exploring other options to take over at designated hitter. Sources told KSTP-TV’s “Eyewitness News” on Tuesday that the Twins have made an offer to Marcell Ozuna, who spent last season with Atlanta.
Ozuna, 30, slashed .338/.431/.636 with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs in 60 games last season. Ozuna spent his first five seasons with the Miami Marlins before a two-year stint with the St. Louis Cardinals. His most productive year came in 2017 when he hit .312/.376/.548 with 37 home runs and 124 RBIs in 159 games. He also has five homers and 16 RBIs in the postseason, having appeared in the playoffs with the Cardinals in 2019 and Atlanta in 2020.
Ozuna signed a one-year, $18 million deal with Atlanta in January 2020. He was used at designated hitter for 39 games by Atlanta and played 21 in the outfield during the pandemic-shortened season.
The Twins also have made another offer to Cruz, the third one he has received from the team since October. Cruz spent the past two seasons with the Twins and hit 57 home runs with 141 RBIs in 173 games. Cruz, 40, was thought to be waiting to see if the designated hitter would continue to be used in the National League this season but it appears that will not be the case. That means his options are limited as spring training nears.
If Ozuna accepts the Twins’ offer, Cruz would have to look elsewhere for a job.