Q5 – If the M’s offer Nelson Cruz a new contract, what are realistic terms?
Matt Barry – I think you offer Nellie a contract that is in the Edwin Encarnacion range. Encarnacion has a deal for $20 million per season. I offer three-years, $60M to Nellie. He is in his upper 30s, but he’s durable, possesses a great work ethic and still has a quick bat.
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I think this is a good deal for both and keeps his big bat in the middle of the order. He’s also a great guy in the clubhouse for younger players. I think he maintains David Ortiz-type of production in his later years. Also, it will be hard to find someone to fill that hole.
Ed Stein – Nellie likes Seattle. Indications are that Cruz would be willing to give the Mariners a hometown discount to stay. He’s 38 years old and despite the exceptional shape he keeps himself in, Cruz is in a decline. Boomstick still had 37 homers in 2018, 11 more than runner-up Mitch Haniger. If I’m Jerry DiPoto the highest I go is two years with a $25M max.
Jordan Cordano – I love Nelson Cruz but I do not believe it is in the best interest for the long-term health of the franchise to bring back The “Boomstick.” Cruz will be 39 on July 1st. He has shown that his durability is dwindling down due to old legs. He no longer can play a position effectively in the field so it shortens roster flexibility.
I think it’s best to have a platoon DH next season with guys such as Denard Span, Ryon Healy, and Robinson Cano. To answer the question, however, if Jerry Dipoto decides to offer Cruz a contract I think he should be on a two year deal for $15M ($7.M per year). If the Mariners season is looking in the dumps come the trade deadline then perhaps they could then move him
Herb Nightingale – The last contract Nelson Cruz signed was for four years and $14M/year plus a signing bonus of $250K/year and this year an incentive bonus of $125K. I would sign him to a three-year contract around the same amount, possibly $1M/year more, then add on incentives for games played, home runs, and RBI.