To sign or not to sign
The question for the Mariners heading into this offseason is whether to re-sign Cruz, who will turn 39 next season. Typically, power bats begin to fade quickly in their late 30s, but Cruz has been an exception. He is consistent at the plate and keeps himself in great shape with his elite work ethic.
The closest comparison to Cruz was probably David Ortiz. At age 39, Ortiz hit 37 HRs and drove in 108 runs. The next year, his last, Ortiz would hit 38 HRs and drive in 127 while batting .315. If Mariners are looking to sign a two-year deal with Cruz potentially, then there is a precedent for great production in those two years.
By all accounts, Nellie is also a clubhouse leader and provides a great example to the younger players. He has missed very few games to injury over his career which speaks to his conditioning. The risk of signing a longer-term deal with a slugger approaching 40 is there.
Cruz seems like a good bet because he has shown little sign of slowing down. He is also motivated to win a World Series, which the Mariners may not be able to achieve in a short time frame. Cruz is a former ALCS MVP with Texas proving that he is a postseason force.