Twins sign Nelson Cruz to one-year, $14.3 million contract

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that Twins and Nelson Cruz are in agreement on a one-year deal with an option. The contract will pay Cruz $14.3 million in 2019 and $12 million if the club picks up his option in 2020.

Cruz, who will turn 39 next season, hit .256/.342/.509 with 37 homers last season. Those rate stats were down a bit, but peripheral stats and Statcast metrics suggest he hasn’t lost a step but, rather, just hit into some bad luck in 2018. Obviously at his age you have to assume a decline will soon occur, but for now it seems like he remains a serious power threat. Either way, Cruz has averaged 40.6 homers a year over the past five years. There hasn’t been a more consistent power hitter around, really.

If that consistency falters in 2019, hey, it’s a one-year deal with a cheap $300,000 buyout for 2020. On that score he’ll be a nice addition to a Twins lineup even if he takes a step back.

Phils’ Hoskins tears knee, expected to miss significant time

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CLEARWATER, Fla. — Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins needs surgery for a torn ACL after injuring his left knee Thursday fielding a grounder in a spring training game and is expected to miss a significant amount of time.

The Phillies did not say when Hoskins would have the surgery or exactly how long the slugging first baseman might be sidelined.

Hoskins hit 30 homers with 79 RBIs last season for the reigning National League champions.

He was backing up to play a chopper on Thursday when the ball popped out of his glove. Sooner after, he fell to the ground and began clutching his left knee. Teammates gathered around him before he was taken off of the field.

Hoskins, a free agent at the end of the season who turned 30 last week, hit six homers in Philadelphia’s playoff run last season. The Phillies lost to the Houston Astros in the World Series.

The injury was another blow for the Phillies, who will be without top pitching prospect Andrew Painter for another few weeks because of a sprained ligament in his right elbow. And slugger Bryce Harper isn’t expected back until around the All-Star break after undergoing Tommy John surgery in November.