Nelson Cruz wants a four-year deal

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Jon Heyman reports that Nelson Cruz, who was such a bargain for the Orioles in 2014 thanks to the qualifying offer hanging around his neck, is looking for a long-term deal this winter:

Free-agent slugger Nelson Cruz turned out to be the biggest free-agent bargain in baseball when he hit an MLB-high 40 home runs after signing a one-year, $8 million deal with theOrioles. Now word is, Cruz is very much hoping not to be that sort of a bargain again.

Cruz is seeking a four-year deal at big bucks, according to league sources.

One of the reasons Cruz turned out to be such a bargain was that his production in 2014 was unexpectedly great. He hit 40 homers and had a .525 slugging percentage. But it was also only the second season in his career where he played as many as 130 games and it was by far his most productive year. And it came at age 34.

If Cruz’s definition of “big bucks” is what one normally assumes, it would appear that he thinks that this is what teams can expect from him over the next four years. I have this feeling, however, that most teams are not going to bet big on a 35-year-old replicating those numbers year-in, year-out, especially if he’s not in Camden Yards to do it.

Could be another long winter for Cruz. Sort of like last winter. Which started off like this:

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez leaves game with ankle discomfort

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez left the Astros’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning with left ankle discomfort.

Alvarez, who is tied for second in the American League with 37 home runs, rolled his ankle running out of the box on a single in the first inning.

He looked to be in some pain as he jogged to first base and was checked on briefly by manager Dusty Baker and a trainer before remaining in the game. Serving as the designated hitter, he struck out in the third inning before being replaced by pinch-hitter David Hensley for his at-bat in the fifth.