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#pounditTuesday, February 27, 2024

Nelson Cruz lands deal with NL contender

Nelson Cruz wearing a glove

Aug 5, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) warms up before playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. The Twins won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Nelson Cruz Show is officially back on the air for a 19th season.

Jeff Passan of ESPN reported on Wednesday that the veteran slugger Cruz has signed a one-year deal worth $1 million with the San Diego Padres. Cruz is expected to get ample at-bats for the Padres at the designated hitter spot, Passan adds.

Cruz, who turns 43 in July, hit .234 with ten home runs and 64 RBIs in 124 games for the Washington Nationals last season. While the Padres play in a more pitcher-friendly ballpark, the righty-hitting Cruz should help fill the power void left behind by the free agent departures of Brandon Drury and Josh Bell (who got most of the time at DH in the second half of last year).

We had shared earlier this week that a move for Cruz was a real possibility for the Padres. After making the NLCS in 2022, San Diego is going for it all this offseason, adding the seven-time All-Star Cruz to their growing list of recent acquisitions along with Xander Bogaerts, Matt Carpenter, and a notable pitcher that they beat out a rival team for.

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