December 4, 2013

If It's Nelson Cruz Or Nobody, Give Me Nobody

The talk surrounding the Mets and Curtis Granderson has heated up today, with Jon Heyman of CBS indicating that the Mets have made him a three year offer. However, with other teams (richer teams) still interested in paying for Granderson's services, the deal is far from done and there is still a more than significant chance he lands elsewhere.

Image by @lets86it
If he does, another name the Mets have regularly been linked to is Nelson Cruz. Cruz, who is 33, only really broke into the league as a full time player in 2009 at 28 years old. Most notably, he will begin the upcoming year after missing all 50 of the Texas Rangers final regular season games last season to a performance enhancing drug suspension. Given that and his mild decline in the last few years during which he failed to bat over .270, I have some reservations over signing him. Yes, I realize the Mets could certainly use his power in the lineup (he was in line to hit well over 30 home runs last year before the suspension), but how he will produce in the slugging department moving forward following his PED troubles remains to be seen. Furthermore, he was a legitimate liability as an outfield defender. American League teams who look to sign him will probably envision him as a DH making spot starts in the outfield; the Mets simply cannot afford, even with the deft fielding Juan Lagares in center, to have a player whose defense is that inept roving a corner outfield position at Citi Field.

If Nelson Cruz is the last person on the dance floor, I'd rather go home to the options I already have. Cesar Puello jumps to mind, having been an offensive force in AA Binghamton for the Mets this year. Really, I just have no confidence in a power hitter off a PED suspension who can't play defense, and I hope the Mets don't miss out on Granderson and pursue Cruz for fear of signing no one.

1 comment:

  1. I agree completely with this sentiment and submit yet another reason to avoid Cruz: his home/away batting splits.

    In the Texas Rangers home park Cruz puts up a very nice .294/.356/.556 line. However, everywhere else he only bats at a .242/.299/.435 clip.

    The player the Mets would be getting would be much closer to that latter set of numbers. No thank you, Nelson Cruz.