Arizona Diamondbacks Should Pursue Nelson Cruz This Winter

By Randy Holt
Nelson Cruz
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Diamondbacks don’t figure to make many changes to their roster that failed to make the playoffs in 2013. Outside of some changes to their pitching staff, and perhaps some depth additions from their lineup, they’re not necessarily in a position where they have to.

At the same time, though, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the Diamondbacks go out and pursue a power bat to add to the mix. This addition could come on the trade market, but there is at least one slugger available in free agency that does present some intrigue for the organization.

That hitter is Nelson Cruz. Cruz came off of a 50-game ban for performance enhancing drugs to appear in the American League play in game, which the Texas Rangers lost. The 33-year-old will hit the open market this winter, and the Rangers could decide to move on and explore other options this offseason, though they may negotiate to a certain degree.

Which presents an opportunity for the Diamondbacks to add a necessary power bat to their lineup. Though he’s had a bit of trouble staying healthy, Cruz has eclipsed at least 20 home runs in each of the last five seasons, including 27 this year, when he only played in 109 games.

The Diamondbacks need that kind of presence in their lineup. They need to get someone in the mix that can protect Paul Goldschmidt. Cruz presents just that. He’s a threat every time he steps to the plate, and could help to improve this offense a great deal, with his own skill set and by opening up Goldschmidt for even more success.

Again, the Diamondbacks aren’t in need of major changes. They’re a team that is right on the cusp of getting into the playoffs and making some noise, at least on paper. But adding a power bat is something that should be at the top of their offseason list. As long as the price is right, Cruz seems like a good option to explore.

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