It is late January and Nelson Cruz is still sitting out there unsigned. Other guys that had steroid suspensions have teams and even multi-year deals, but for some reason teams are unwilling to take a chance on the former Texas Rangers right fielder. His numbers since 2009 are very, very good.
2009 – .260/.332/.524/.856 with 33 home-runs and 76 rbi.
2010 – .318/.374/.576/.950 with 22 home-runs and 78 rbi.
2011 – .263/.312/.509/.821 with 29 home-runs and 87 rbi.
2012 – .260/.319/.460/.779 with 24 home-runs and 90 rbi.
2013 – .266/.327/.509/.833 with 27 home-runs and 76 rbi.
And 2013 was with a fifty game suspension. Pretty good numbers in my opinion, and he seems like a guy that could help a ballclub win some games. So should the Texas Rangers bring Nelly back? They already have four outfielders in Alex Rios, Leonys Martin, Shin-Soo Choo and Michael Choice. My opinion is that they should, but only on a one year deal and to be the right-handed designated hitter and emergency outfielder. If someone in the outfield gets hurt, it would be a really nice backup plan to have someone as talented as Cruz sitting on the bench ready to go. And it would solve the Texas Rangers problem of wanting a right-handed designated hitter to compliment Mitch Moreland.
It would also be helpful for Nelly to sign a one year deal with the Texas Rangers to prove to the rest of Major League Baseball that he can still play now that he has served a suspension for performance enhancing drugs. I think Nelly and his agent would be smart to take a deal and try to help the Texas Rangers get back to the post season after just missing last season, a fact that some Texas Rangers fans blame on Nelly’s suspension. A one year deal would make sense for both sides, if Nelly could swallow his pride and play his heart out in 2014. If he could do that, he will get his big payday in 2015 and beyond, and the Texas Rangers might just get back to the promised land. I get excited thinking about a line-up that has Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz batting back to back to back. We will see soon, but I really hope Nelly is back.