Following the news that the Mariners have signed Nelson Cruz to a four-year deal worth around $57 million, I thought it would be worth remembering that Mariners ownership kept them from signing Cruz last offseason … when he was much cheaper.
Here’s a previous report from the ultra-reliable Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune:
The Mariners had a deal in place last winter with Cruz, then a free agent, for roughly $7.5 million in 2014 with a club option of about $9 million for 2105…before ownership backed away. The primary concern, which all clubs shared, was how Cruz, then 33, would respond after being caught and suspended as part of the Biogenesis drug scandal.
Still, officials with several clubs say they stopped viewing Cruz as a potential target because they expected he would bridge any differences with the Mariners. “I still don’t know what happened there,” an official with a rival club said. “We were told it was done. And it seemed such an obvious fit for both sides. There was risk, certainly, but…”
One year and 40 homers later, apparently no one cares about the PED stuff. But caring back then cost the Mariners a lot. Instead of getting Cruz for $7.5 million in 2014 and $9 million in 2015, the Mariners let him hit 40 homers for the Orioles while missing the playoffs by one game in 2014 and are now paying him $57 million for 2015-2018.