Nelson Cruz...an option in the OF?

southshoresoxfan

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Jul 15, 2005
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Canton MA
Apologize if this has been covered somewhere else, but just wondering aloud if Nelson Cruz was somebody the Sox may be looking at as an alternative as a true right handed power bat should Napoli sign elsewhere.
 
The Good:
 
Last 3 seasons have been pretty consistent, posting OPS + of 113, 104 and 123.
 
Career 1.033 OPS in the post season in 137 PAs
 
High ISO slg guy, posting .246, .200 and .246 in the past 3 seasons.
 
The Bad:
Age/PED concerns, is 33 and coming off the Biogenesis suspension.
 
Defensive concerns, although these could largely be masked in LF at Fenway at least.
 
WAR.  Two seasons ago posted a 0.4 WAR, although he appears to be around a 2 win player career wise.
 
If they could ink him on a 2-3 year deal in the 10-12 million dollar range, I think his skillset and swing would fit fenway park well.  Worst case if his defense declines to the point of no return after y1 or y2, he could be your built-in Ortiz replacement at DH due to injury or retirement.
 
Personally, I would rather have Napoli with Nava in LF, but this would make for a nice alternative and should be relatively affordable given the Biogenesis cloud over his head.
 

mt8thsw9th

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Jul 17, 2005
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I would hope not. Why wouldn't you just have Gomes/Nava play LF rather than the inferior Nelson Cruz? Why not have Carp as the "bird in hand" Ortiz  replacement? Unless the "10-12 million" means total, and not per annum, I don't really know what net value he could potentially add to the team. He's asking for 2-3 times his actual value for more years than he's worth risking given his age and PED cloud. I don't see him as a good bet at more than a Gomes-type deal, and I think it's fantasy to think he'll even entertain such a deal. Even then, the Red Sox don't need a third guy who can't play anywhere other than LF everyday.
 

Devizier

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Jul 3, 2000
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It's a fair question, but I think not.
 
Cruz represents a pretty significant defensive liability in RF and I don't think the Sox are going to prefer him to what they already have in LF. 
 
Of course, anyone's an option if the price is right, but here, I don't think that will be the case.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Sep 9, 2008
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Doesn't stay on the field, terrible defender.  When he's on the field, he has pop in the bat and hits for a good average.
 
But we just got a hard earned draft pick with Ellsbury signing with the Yankees -- I don't want to give it away for Nelson Cruz.
 
Pickings are pretty slim at this point -- if they don't get Choo or Beltran (which I'm guessing they won't), let's go with the plan and stay away from risky consolation prizes.
 
I guess I'd also add that I don't think 3/33 or something like that is going to get it done with Cruz until much later in the hot stove.  Turning down the QO seems to suggest he has bigger aspirations.
 

Danny_Darwin

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Jul 19, 2005
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Lou Gorman would be all over him: he has a 1.125 OPS agains the Red Sox in 165 PAs. 
 

wyatt55

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Nov 26, 2005
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Miskatonic University
DennyDoyle'sBoil said:
Doesn't stay on the field, terrible defender.  When he's on the field, he has pop in the bat and hits for a good average.
 
But we just got a hard earned draft pick with Ellsbury signing with the Yankees -- I don't want to give it away for Nelson Cruz.
 
Pickings are pretty slim at this point -- if they don't get Choo or Beltran (which I'm guessing they won't), let's go with the plan and stay away from risky consolation prizes.
 
I guess I'd also add that I don't think 3/33 or something like that is going to get it done with Cruz until much later in the hot stove.  Turning down the QO seems to suggest he has bigger aspirations.
how is he terrible as a defender?  He has a cannon arm, and is range is slightly below league average for a RF. 
 
Does anyone have anything on this other than him misplaying the ball in the world series? 
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
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wyatt55 said:
how is he terrible as a defender?  He has a cannon arm, and is range is slightly below league average for a RF. 
 
Does anyone have anything on this other than him misplaying the ball in the world series? 
 
I guess looking at his numbers they are better than his reputation, but they still are just average at best.  Slightly below average DRS and rARM, but a slightly above average UZR/150 fueled it appears largely by his range, which is good (and ironic).
 

glasspusher

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Jul 20, 2005
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The only safe position for Nelson Cruz is DH. We have a DH. That man is Texas' Buckner, and at least Buckner could field when he was healthy. He makes a 1996 Manny Ramirez seem like Dewey Evans.
 
Edit: OK, maybe a slight exaggeration...but that's a big RF in the Fens. He might have above average range, but does he know what to do with it in a tricky RF? Vic Torino played it beautifully this last year. Looking forward to more.
 

joe dokes

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Jul 18, 2005
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Pretty serious home/road split  294-356-556/242-299-435 (except Fenway; in 78 PAs-

386

.449

.714 )