The Detroit Tigers need a left fielder, and the only real big name left on the free agent market is Nelson Cruz. So, it is only logical to think that the Tigers should be desperately trying to sign Cruz right? Wrong.
The Tigers would be wasting their time if they were to pursue him simply because Cruz is declining and would be a waste especially defensively given the large ballpark that the Tigers play in. Not to mention, the price range for Cruz is about $20 million too high with the recent overpaid contracts to players like Shin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury. Now is the time for the Tigers to get creative, not overspend for an overrated and aging outfielder.
The Tigers may feel like they have very limited options available to them, but the simple truth is that a trade will open up at some point which will allow the Tigers to get a younger, more athletic outfielder who will be a better fit. Sure, it would be nice not having to trade players to get that outfielder, but it is worth it to get a more solid all-around player.
Also, while steroids are not the main reason the Tigers shouldn’t pursue Cruz, it has to be a consideration that a drop-off may occur, or a possibility that he could get busted again and put the Tigers in a crippling position moving forward.
Cruz would be a big-name signing, but he would not significantly improve this team and there are better options. The Tigers can’t let their perceived desperation for an outfielder get the best of them and overpay again for a player like they did for Prince Fielder. Patience and time are the Tigers’ best friends right now, not Nelson Cruz.