Designated hitter Nelson Cruz and the Minnesota Twins have agreed to a one-year, $ 13 million contract, people familiar with the deal told Jeff Passan.
Cruz, 40, was the linchpin of the formation of the Bomba Squad Twins. And he’s coming back right in the middle of it in 2021.
The slugger, who hit .303 with 16 home runs, 33 RBIs and a career-high OPS + (169) in the pandemic-cut season, was sixth in the American League MVP vote and was selected as Marvin Miller Man of Year in the Annual Players’ Choice Awards.
The award is given to the player their peers “respect the most for their leadership on the pitch and in the community”. Cruz donated a fire engine and ambulance and helped build a police station in his hometown of Las Matas de Santa Cruz in the Dominican Republic, and his Boomstick 23 foundation provided wheelchairs and crutches, and he set up a clinic to provide medical and dental care. care.
His mission to help his hometown and other cities in the Dominican Republic led him to receive the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award at ESPYS 2020.
The designated hitter played on a $ 12 million contract last season after smashing 41 home runs, a team-high while reaching 108 RBIs in 2019, despite two stints on the injured list for a wrist issue. He has hit the 40 home run mark four times in his career; Barry Bonds and Babe Ruth hold the all-time mark with five seasons. Cruz was also the 57th player in major league history to reach 400 career homers.
His .992 OPS in 2020 placed fourth in the AL and was the fifth best mark in MLB history by a player in his season 39 years or older, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. And he’s led all of the major leagues with an OPS of 1.182 on the strike zone courts over the past two seasons.
From 2014 to 2018, no majors player made more circuits than Cruz (203). In 16 major-league seasons, Cruz, a six-time All-Star who won three Silver Slugger Awards, has 417 home runs with 1,152 RBIs and a 0.278 batting average for the Twins, Mariners, Orioles, Rangers. and the Brewers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.