You could hear the collective shriek from Orioles fans on Sunday when Nelson Cruz was struck on the left hand by a Scott Feldman fastball. But all is well.
Cruz is in the Orioles’ starting lineup for Tuesday night’s series-opener against the Rangers — his first time back in Arlington, Texas since signing a one-year, $8 million free agent deal with Baltimore this past winter. Cruz will bat third and start in left field.
The 33-year-old slugger is batting .314/.384/.672 with 20 home runs and 52 RBI in 54 games this season for his new team.
That’s a 59-homer and 153-RBI pace. Not bad value at $8 million.
Jon Morosi reported on Saturday that the Marlins signed veteran reliever Brandon Kintzler to a one-year contract worth $3.25 million. The deal includes a club option for 2020 worth $4 million with a $250,000 buyout, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.
Kintzler, 35, put up a terrific 2.68 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 13 walks over 57 innings for the Cubs last season. He’s been mostly good in recent years, but relievers in their mid-30’s have had a tough time finding multi-year deals.
The Marlins have a handful of players who could rack up saves this coming season, namely Drew Steckenrider and José Ureña along with Kintzler. The club will likely use spring training to determine an official closer, if they name one at all. The Marlins have also expressed interest in free agent Pedro Strop.