Reports: Twins sign slugger Nelson Cruz to 1-year deal

The Twins have added a powerful right-handed bat to their lineup. Minnesota has signed free agent slugger Nelson Cruz to a 1-year deal, according to multiple reports.

The deal pays him $14 million in 2019 and includes a team option for the 2020 season, according to a report from Jon Heyman. Cruz is 38 years old and offered plenty of pop for the Mariners a season ago. Last season the underrated slugger hit .256/.342/.509 with 37 home runs.

An intriguing signing, to be sure.

UPDATE (12:30pm): Cruz has changed his Twitter profile picture, so it’s “Social-Media Official.”

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 logical conclusion is that he’ll take over that role full-time in a Twins uniform.

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.