Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz is having another great season in 2021.
The 41-year-old is proving that age means nothing to him, as he was named to his seventh MLB All-Star team earlier this summer.
He is producing at a ridiculous level for the non-contending Twins.
It’s his third season with Minnesota, and it will also likely be his last.
Cruz will presumably be moved at the upcoming MLB trade deadline.
His contract is expiring, and a number of contending teams could really use his services.
Where could he end up?
Let’s get one thing out of the way: Cruz can really only play in the American League at this point in his career.
He is a full-time designated hitter and hasn’t played an inning in the field since the 2018 season.
That limits some of his potential landing spots, but there are still a good number of clubs that should express interest in him.
After all, who wouldn’t want a player batting .295 with a .910 OPS and 19 home runs?
Josh Donaldson tied it. Nelson Cruz ended it.
— MLB (@MLB) June 11, 2021
Let’s go over some potential landing spots for the veteran.
3. Seattle Mariners
It remains to be seen how serious the Seattle Mariners are about making a playoff push this season, but they’re definitely in the mix right now.
At 51-44, Seattle is just three games out of a Wild Card spot.
If the team decides to add talent at the deadline, Cruz could be a game-changing piece to the puzzle.
Seattle currently has just one player on its active roster with an OPS above .800, and it’s Mitch Haniger.
Cruz would immediately become the best hitter on the team.
It will be very interesting to see the approach that Seattle takes over the next week or two.
Fans surely want to see the team act as a buyer.
2. Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics have surprised a lot of fans with their strong 2021 season.
They seem like legitimate threats to make a playoff run in the AL, and they could become an even bigger thorn in other teams’ sides by trading for a guy like Cruz.
With their budget constraints, the Athletics rarely get a chance to house star players, but trading for a star rental is always an option.
Oakland has a very mediocre offense, and Cruz could provide a big-time jolt.
Look no further than his 153 OPS+ for evidence.
Nelson Cruz hits a grand slam 😳
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 5, 2021
We’ll see if the Athletics make any splashes.
1. New York Yankees
The New York Yankees seem dead-set on buying at the trade deadline despite a poor first half.
They’re currently four games out of a playoff spot in the AL Wild Card race, so they’re certainly not dead yet.
But if the Yankees want to bolster their chances of cracking the postseason, they are going to need to address some serious lineup concerns.
New York currently averages just 4.15 runs per game, a mark that ranks 21st in all of baseball.
That’s probably not sustainable.
Cruz could provide a massive boost, and the Yankees definitely have the assets to get a deal done.
The question becomes this: Will New York be willing to trade away young talent for just three months of Cruz?