A return to Seattle in 2019?
Cruz’ support system in Seattle includes a very good training staff and a hitting coach, Martinez, who has first-hand experience in the position of “aging hitter extraordinaire.” Hopefully, that is some of what’s needed for Cruz to return to the PNW, and continue launching moon shots for another couple seasons.
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The Mariners have an enormous decision to make this off-season and whether Cruz is suiting up in Mariners teal again next year isn’t a given. He currently remains a free agent after playing out his contract with the M’s.
Despite his consistent power numbers and production, all teams come to the point of balancing risk and reward for aging players.
He will no doubt be contributing on a baseball diamond next season, if he wants to, that doesn’t seem to be in doubt. Cruz is still operating on his own terms. Whether or not it happens to be in Seattle remains to be seen.
The slugger needs to determine how much and for how long it will take for him to remain a Seattle player. For their part, the Mariners organization first has to decide if they want to bring the 38-year-old back when there are younger players make a push to get into the lineup.
Personally, I hope he gets a good contract from the Mariners. I want to see him battle not only father time but opposing teams pitchers in Seattle, just a little bit longer. The M’s can lean on Cruz for the necessary “pop” in their lineup as long as he continues to turn back the clock.