The Cardinals have been rumored to be in on a bunch of free agent candidates, one of which is Nelson Cruz.
To be blunt, this is a bad idea.
Yes, he hit 40 home runs last year. We haven’t had that kind of thump in a little while. That much power is tantalizing.
He’ll also want a big contract, one I’m not sure I’m comfortable giving a 34 year old player as that is usually past a players prime. There are exceptions of course, but I’m not a gambling man, well, not in this case anyway.
After a strong start in which he had hit 20 home runs by the end of May (13 in the month of may alone) he hit 20 the rest of the way, averaging five a month. Still, five a month averages out to about 30 a season, which isn’t bad at all.
The red flags come in the form of his batting averages. After that hot start, he hit .215 in June, .211 in July, and .216 in August. He did finish strong with a .349 avg in September/October, but I think that ending and his strong May where he hit .339 mask his overal performance.
What if the player we sign is the guy who averaged .213 for the middle three months of the year?
Add in the fact that he’ll require a draft pick, that he was a primarily DH last year and had a negative dWAR when he did play out there, and that his contract would probably be an albatross by the end of it, and I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole.
Don’t let one tool outweigh everything else.
As always, thanks for reading.