MLB Texas Rangers

Top 5 Teams for Nelson Cruz During 2014 MLB Offseason

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Top 5 Teams for Nelson Cruz During 2014 MLB Offseason

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

If for some strange reason you had never heard of Nelson Cruz before the 2013 season and you are a Major League Baseball fan, you have definitely heard of him now. Of course having his name slotted with Alex Rodriguez and the other fellows suspended for PED usage won’t do him any favors in the court of public opinion but on the baseball field, Cruz is solid. He was solid before he was mixed up with PEDs and he will be solid now. Some team will sign him this offseason and help him put all of that junk in the past.

In case you are curious his numbers are good but they have always been good. There was no big spike for a period of time like some guys. His averages over a 162 game season are more than decent at a .268 batting average and .823 OPS. He should average around 32 homers and close to 100 RBI for the season. When it comes to defense he isn’t the greatest outfielder ever but he won’t lose a game for you either. The WAR stat tells a good story as far as overall value.

His offensive WAR will be somewhere between 2.0 and 3.0 for most seasons with a defensive WAR from 0.0 to slightly negative. So he might not win an MVP for you but then again he could. While not winning awards though he will do plenty of run producing. A lot of teams are looking for run producing outfielders this year but these few seem to have the closest chances to land Cruz. Feel free to leave a comment below or let me hear from you on twitter if your opinion differs or is the same.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5 – San Francisco Giants

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Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants have already given arguably too much money to Hunter Pence and Tim Lincecum before signing 38-year old Tim Hudson for two years and $23MM. If they have any money left at this point they would certainly love to put Cruz in their outfield trio. Considering they are still within close range of a couple of World Series trophies, they probably do have the money so this isn’t farfetched at all.

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4 – Kansas City Royals

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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals probably want Carlos Beltran a little more than Cruz but they might not get Beltran. Cruz is possibly a better option than Beltran during the season anyway and wouldn’t be much different as far as a price tag went. He could potentially help the Royals for a good number of seasons as well and that is a huge plus. The only reason they aren’t in the top three is because they tend to have a lower payroll and might get outbid fairly easily.

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3 – New York Mets

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets finally are out from under a lot of money that they had sitting on their books for years. They have cash to spend and holes to fill; one of which is in the outfield for sure. They were one of the teams hunting for Marlon Byrd but with him off the market, Cruz will be more attractive to them. They would certainly be able to go as far as they wanted in any bidding war.

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2 – Texas Rangers

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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

For some reason money is never a problem for the Rangers and they also know Cruz well. He has played there for several seasons now and even with the addition of Alex Rios, they still can use Cruz in the outfield. With the familiarity of the area and already enjoying playing with the team most of the time, the Rangers are as serious contenders as they want to be.

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1 – New York Yankees

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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees might very well lose Curtis Granderson if they re-sign Robinson Cano for a load of cash. If they do that then they probably would do well in signing someone the talent level of Cruz who will come at a smaller price than Jacoby Ellsbury and might produce even better. The Yankees could have him if they stay in the hunt for him and it looks like they are going to.