Twins re-sign designated hitter Nelson Cruz
Designated Hitter Nelson Cruz is re-joining the Minneosta Twins, agreeing to a one-year deal late Tuesday night.
Cruz flirted with National League teams in the event Major League Baseball approved a universal DH rule for the upcoming season, but KSTP Sports has confirmed Cruz accepted the Twins offer for a one-year, $13-million deal to stay in Minnesota for the 2021 season.
Cruz has spent the past two seasons in a Twins uniform and put up big numbers as the team’s primary designated hitter. In his two seasons in the Twin Cities, he has hit for a .308 average while slugging 57 home runs and driving in 141 runs. Cruz will be entering his age 40 season in 2021.
Last season, Cruz won the American League’s DH Silver Slugger Award for the third time in four years as well as Major League Baseball’s Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award.
Since the 2009 season, Cruz has hit 395 home runs – 37 more than any other player over that span.
The Twins still have one spot open on the 40-man roster with just over three weeks to go before the scheduled start of spring training.
A source previously told KSTP Sports the Twins also had an offer out to Marcell Ozuna, but it’s not expected the team will continue to pursue Ozuna with Cruz back on the roster.
Ozuna spent the 2020 season in Atlanta as a member of the Braves organization. Ozuna split his time in Atlanta between the designated hitter spot and the corner outfield positions. While he is capable of playing corner outfield positions, he is known as a power hitter that could slide into a full-time designated hitter role if needed. In his shortened 2020 season in Atlanta, Ozuna hit 18 home runs in 60 games to go along with a .338 batting average and 56 runs batted in. Prior to his time in Atlanta, Ozuna spent two seasons in St. Louis after spending his first five major league seasons in Miami. Ozuna will be entering his age 30 season in 2021.
[Note: This story has been updated from the original post reporting the Twins had extended offers to both Cruz and Ozuma]