With V – Mart’s 4 YR Deal For $68 MIL, The Market Threshold Is Set For Nelson Cruz

Victor Martinez has thrived offensively in Detroit hitting behind Miguel Cabrera.  Aside from the 2012 injury where he missed the whole season to a broken ankle.  V-Mart's 3 Slash Line for the Tigers is .321/.379/.486 - with 56 HR and 283 RBI in 1656 AB for the squad.  2014 is the last year of the 35 year old's 4 YRs/$50 MIL deal, and he will be on the open market after this campaign.  This was another good reason to bring in David Price by trade to win the elusive World Series.  There is no guarantee the Tigers could afford to bring him back for 2015 or beyond.

Victor Martinez has thrived offensively in Detroit hitting behind Miguel Cabrera. Aside from the 2012 injury where he missed the whole season to a broken ankle. V-Mart’s 3 Slash Line for the Tigers is .321/.381/.487 – with 58 HR and 289 RBI in 1706 AB for the squad. 2014 was the last year of the 35 year old’s 4 YRs/$50 MIL deal.  There was no guarantee the Tigers could afford to bring him back for 2015 or beyond because of the chance they would move Cabrera to DH in a few years.  However, the “Motown Boys” will have the best Designated Hitter in the game right now, back in the fold for the next 4 campaigns.  The one person who may not like the $ portion of the contract is Nelson Cruz, who is seeking a deal of 5 years at above the dollars per year V-Mart just reeled in.

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Yesterday Victor Martinez finalized re-signing with the Detroit Tigers for 4 YRs/$68 MIL.  This both was a great deal for the “Motown Boys” and also set a likely threshold for Free Agent DH slugger Nelson Cruz.

The Orioles DH/OF must not be happy with the amount of cash that V-Mart signed with, because there is no way he should reach that stratosphere.

2014 Stats

Victor Martinez (35):  .335/.409/.565, with 32 HRs 103 RBI and only 42 SO in 561 AB.

Nelson Cruz  (34):  .271/.333/.525, with 40 HRs 108 RBI and 140 SO in 613 AB.

 

Career

Martinez:  .306/.373/.475

Cruz:  .268/.328/.501

 

Nelson Cruz is the best pure power hitter left on the open market.  He is probably better suited to remain the American League and be the primary DH.  If a team pays more for him than Martinez just landed, than they are crazy.  Potential teams like Seattle and Kansas City should be making pitches for his services, with salary space, and a need for a Right Handed bat to compliment their heavy Left Handed lineups.

Nelson Cruz is the best pure power hitter left on the open market. He is probably better suited to remain the American League and be the primary DH. If a team pays more for him than Martinez just landed, than they are crazy. Potential teams like Seattle and Kansas City should be making pitches for his services, with salary space, and a need for a Right Handed bat to compliment their heavy Left Handed lineups.

This shows that Martinez holds and OPS for his lifetime of .847 to Cruz featuring a clip .829.  Even with the former Ranger being a 1 year younger, this should not dictate any advantage to bargain for more cash.

The Orioles were smart to only have offered Cruz a 3 YR deal before he hit Free Agency.

Baltimore should still be interested in re-signing this man.  The price should have dropped right now.  The Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals potentially have the best chance to gain for this.

It is my thought process that these two other teams, plus Baltimore should be in on the negotiations.

Seattle should come in swiftly right now, and offer this guy a 4 YR Deal worth just south of what Martinez got.  Possibly in the $15 – 16 $MIL a year Annual Average Value, and could even list a 5th season Vesting Option.

The Orioles could shake off losing Cruz for at least 2015, with a comeback season from Chris Davis, coupled with more playing time for Steve Pearce, and potentially some DH AB for Catcher Matt Wieters.

Seattle and KC would pique my interest, because both are heavily saddled with a bevy of Left Handed Hitters in their respective lineups, and most definitely need a Right Handed power bat in their Batting Order to protect their guys.

The Mariners should have inked Cruz last year, as that could have been the difference between them grabbing the 2nd Wild Card Slot, and not losing it out to the Royals.

With Billy Butler in the DH mix somewhere, he will probably sign with one of those three teams as well.

You have to figure Texas may be in on a player like Butler too.

Lets take a quick look at the rest of the DH positions for each club.

BOS:  No issues with David Ortiz going forward for a few more seasons.

TOR:  There is enough there with Edwin Encarnacion, or Justin Smoak, plus to use a rest day fro Jose Bautista

BAL:  In the air still.  Probably Butler, Cruz or Pearce.

TB:  Have used Sean Rodriguez, Matt Joyce, but really wouldn’t plunk down that much money for a new bat either.  David DeJesus may also fill the bill for some AB.

NYY:  Need the spot for Carlos Beltran, Alex Rodriguez, and a lot of old guys that need a rest day every once in a while.

KC:  Still in the air.  Would be another great destination for a Torii Hunter.

DET:  Victor Martinez

CLE:  The Tribe won’t spend a ton of money here either, and may slide Nick Swisher into the role going forward to take some reps with Carlos Santana.

MIN:  The Twins may be a player in Free Agency, and if they can land their former player in Torii Hunter, perhaps he would be perfectly suited to take on the role.

CWS:  With losing out on V-Mart, they could potentially enter the market for Cruz or Butler.  Another FA to their liking could be a guy like Kendrys Morales, who is a lighter switch hitting version of V-Mart.

HOU:  With the youth quickly being moved up the ranks, it is time to make Chris Carter into a permanent DH.  Spending money here is not a wise decision.

LAA:  They should relegate Josh Hamilton to this role in all sincerity, but could save some AB for Albert Pujols for time to time.,  Of course C.J. Cron did a nice job in a limited role.

TEX:  They should be players in this designation, although they do have Mitch Moreland that could do the job.  They were also linked to Morales before last year.

OAK:  This club has 3 Catchers to draw AB in the DH slot, and also have Brandon Moss to take some swings.  I also would think they will offer Adam Dunn some cash on a 1 YR deal to avoid retirement,

SEA:  They need to sign some one pronto – and preferably a Right Handed stick.  Last year, the production the club received from DH killed their offense.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a player like Ryan Howard or Mark Trumbo traded to an American League club to assume the job as their primary DH.

Delmon Young needs a new home, but I could see a team use his services for a 4th OF, and take some reps versus LHP.  KC should think about adding him to their roster.

Corey Hart may receive a Spring Training invite from a Major League team, although he will be hard pressed to enter April on a big league roster.

Raul Ibanez and Jason Giambi should be all but retired now, and both may end up as coaches within the MLB.

Butler may actually be a vital piece to the market considering how terrible the slot of Designated Hitter has been in the past few years.

I am really surprised more teams don’t use the position as an advantage.

One Wild Card to add to the fray, is if a club can sign Pablo Sandoval.  He may not want to play in any season as a DH, however he could sign with the Boston Red Sox to play 3B for now, and be the heir apparent to David Ortiz in a few years…

Others that may hit the market as a DH for teams are Mike Morse and Adam LaRoche, although the latter is still one hell of a fielding 1st Baseman.  The Mariners should be in on LaRoche too.

Clearly the Mariners need a new Designated Hitter and an upgrade at 1B.  Could they be players on both Nelson Cruz and Adam La Roche, or perhaps they may opt for a hitter like Billy Butler?  Whatever the case, they received abysmal production from both slots, and could stand to see a big improvement for the 2015 campaign.

Clearly the Mariners need a new Designated Hitter and an upgrade at 1B. Could they be players on both Nelson Cruz and Adam LaRoche, or perhaps they may opt for a hitter like Billy Butler? Whatever the case, they received abysmal production from both slots, and could stand to see a big improvement for the 2015 campaign.

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker . In 2015, I watched 224 MLB Games, spanning all 30 MLB Parks in 183 Days. Read about that World Record Journey at https://mlbreports.com/183in2015/229sked2015/

Posted on November 15, 2014, in Free Agency, MLB Player Profiles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on With V – Mart’s 4 YR Deal For $68 MIL, The Market Threshold Is Set For Nelson Cruz.

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