Bye Bye Nelson Cruz


Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Nelson Cruz has reportedly agreed to a four-year/ $57 million deal with the Seattle Mariners. After Cruz declined the Orioles’ qualifying offer, it was almost imminent that he would go elsewhere.

In February of this year, the Orioles announced the signing of Cruz. The 1-year/ $8 million contract was much less than Cruz would have liked. However, after being suspended for PED use the season prior, many teams were not willing to give Cruz a second chance. The Orioles were willing to give him that chance.

Obviously, that chance paid off for both Cruz and the Orioles as a whole. In 2014, Cruz had a career year. He batted .271/.333/.525 with a League-leading 40 home runs, as well as 108 RBI.

His power was the heart of the Orioles’ offense in 2014.

Cruz’s biggest game came on September 7th against the Rays when he drove in all of the Orioles’ seven runs in their 7-5 extra-innings win. He single-handedly defeated the Rays that day and many would argue that he single-handedly won the Orioles their first American League East Division Title since 1997.

Once in the 2014 Postseason, his production with his bat did not cease. He batted an unbelievable .500 in the ALDS with two home runs and five RBI. In the ALCS, he drove in another two runs as Baltimore’s historic season came to an end.

Entering the off-season, many Orioles fans knew with such an outstanding 2014 season, Cruz was most likely headed elsewhere in 2015. After he declined the Orioles qualifying offer of $15.3 million for one year, the idea of Cruz not being an Oriole in 2015 became all the more real.

That idea became a fact this morning when reports came out of the Dominican Republic that Cruz signed with the Mariners. Brittany Ghiroli of reported that the Orioles knew of this deal and did not want to match it.

Now that Cruz is gone, all of Baltimore will miss him and thank him for what he contributed to the ball club in 2014.