Seattle Mariners Rumors: Nelson Cruz A Possibility?


Last time we talked about Nelson Cruz, he was serving as the illustrated example of an alleged Seattle Mariners team policy against signing players with PED connections. Today we’re talking about him again, because he’s apparently talking about becoming a Mariner, again. That’s the basics. From here on out, it gets complicated.

So Cruz, we recall, is said to have agreed to a contract with the Mariners last winter. The deal was nixed by Mariners ownership, who overruled Jack Zduriencik and insisted that the team not associate with players who’d been linked to steroids in the past. The details of the situation remain unknown – all we know is that the team came out looking a little dysfunctional and maybe insane.

Here’s Jon Paul Morosi, talking to an unnamed “Mariners official” who says that not only does the team not have an anti-PED guys policy, but they never agreed to a deal with Cruz last year. The source goes on to say that the team has already spoken to both Cruz and his agent already this winter. Which, you know, flies way in the face of what we’d been brought to believe.

What was said a month ago has now essentially been countered in full, as today’s news suggests that nearly the entirety of the previous report was inaccurate. The truth is usually somewhere in the middle, and in this case, yeah, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. As if that makes it any easier to figure out how/what/if the team is thinking.

Morosi notes that Cruz and outfielder Melky Cabrera would reason to be two of the Mariners’ top targets, and that both have served PED suspensions in recent years. He adds that the Mariners offered a contract to Victor Martinez before the AL MVP runner-up re-signed with Detroit, which is just a heck of a tidbit and serves as a reminder that the team’s 1A is off the table.

Basically the M’s are at a crossroads: take a stance against PEDs at the cost of a run at Cabrera/Cruz, or make a run at the PED guys. Based on the comments from the team official, it seems they’ve chosen to pursue the best available targets, even if they have shady pasts. If so, then great, they’re making the right choice by not artificially limiting their options for improvement. This team may be the best in the AL, but it probably isn’t, and thus could stand to get as much better as possible this offseason.

The saga continues. The Mariners are probably talking to Nelson Cruz, and they probably don’t have a team-wide policy against signing players with steroid implications. They might, though. Cruz probably won’t be a Mariner next year, either, but if that’s what you’re hoping for, there’s still a chance, probably.