David Ortiz lobbied for the Red Sox to sign Nelson Cruz

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In a column for WEEI, John Tomase reports that Red Sox DH David Ortiz lobbied for his team to sign then-free agent slugger Nelson Cruz during each of the past two off-seasons. Heading into 2015, Cruz was coming off of a season in which he led the majors with 40 home runs while driving in 108 runs and hitting .271/.333/.525.

Cruz, now 35, wound up signing a four-year, $57 million deal with the Mariners. He’s currently the major league leader in home runs with 36, having knocked in 74 runs and compiled a .321/.389/.611 triple-slash line.

Cruz described Ortiz’s efforts to bring him to Boston:

“He was all in,” Cruz recalled this weekend. “Anytime we played, he reminded me that he wanted me here. It meant a lot. I’m a fan of him, and also a good friend. When a player like him, a future Hall of Famer, requests for you to play with him, it’s definitely something that grabs you.”

Cruz said the Red Sox never contacted him about a potential deal.

Zack Wheeler headed to IL due to shoulder fatigue

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Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler will be placed on the 10-day injured list due to fatigue in his right shoulder, Newsday’s Tim Healey reports. The roster move is retroactive to July 12. Steven Matz will open up a two-game series in Minnesota, starting in Wheeler’s place on Tuesday.

As Healey notes, the soonest Wheeler can return is July 23, which would give him at most two starts ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. Wheeler has frequently been brought up in trade conversations as he can become a free agent after the season and the 42-51 Mets have been freefalling.

Wheeler, 29, owns a 4.69 ERA with 130 strikeouts and 34 walks across 119 innings of work this season.