Seattle Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz will be a free agent at the end of the season. Matt Barry makes the case to bring him back in 2019.
Even though the Seattle Mariners lost 2B Robinson Cano for 80 games and continue to watch former ace pitcher Felix Hernandez decline, they were able to be a real threat to make the playoffs until around September 1st. They have since faded but were able to surprise many baseball experts behind solid years from Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger and a dominant season from closer Edwin Diaz.
But the real pillar in their lineup over the last four seasons has been slugging OF/DH Nelson Cruz. “Nellie” has hit at least 40 homers in two of those seasons and has 36 so far this year. His batting average is down slightly this season at .265 and his OPS is under .900 for the first time in four seasons. He does, however, lead the team in home runs and provides the big power bat that every lineup needs.