Aug 4, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz (17) stands in the dugout before the start of the game against the Oakland Athletics at O.Co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Could Nelson Cruz be a Fit for the Astros?

Of course, the easy answer, is yes. We know the Astros still have some holes in their outfield, even with George Springer on the horizon, and Nelson Cruz would help in filling those holes. Cruz would also provide a proven, veteran, run producing threat in the middle of the order.

Last season, Cruz hit .266 in 109 games with 27 home runs and 76 RBI’s. That is pretty good production for someone who was also suspended for 50 games due to PED use. Missing time for Cruz is nothing new as the outfielder has a history of being injury prone throughout his career. But even regardless of that, Cruz is good for an average of 27 home runs and about 80 RBI’s a season. That would put him atop the Astros leader board and give their lineup a much needed boost.

So, everything sounds good thus far. Yes there are some health concerns here, and the suspension also has to be on your radar, but everything points to Cruz’s 2014 performance not being too far off from the past six seasons. However, there is the concern that Cruz’s best years are behind him and you have to wonder how much of his production and health was propped up by PED usage. Personally, this is not a major concern for me, but it is something to think about.

But while I am not too worried about Cruz for 2014, it is natural to have some reservations. And that is why his rumored contract demands of four years and $75 million are just outlandish. If you are wondering why Cruz is still unsigned, look no further than those terms.

As we get closer to Spring Training, Cruz is running out of time. The 33-year old still has a lot to offer a team, and likely has a few years left. But if he doesn’t get the contract he is seeking, which is beginning to look more and more likely, then he will be forced to settle for a one or two year deal. That will allow him to reestablish his value for the big money contract that he is seeking.

If it comes to that, then Cruz is an option the Astros should consider. It would also allow them to give Springer a little more seasoning in the minor leagues.

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Tags: Houston Astros Nelson Cruz

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  • Larry Luttrell

    Ray, I would like this Nelson Cruz played with the Astros we already goy Scott Feldman all we need is Nelson Cruz. I like Cruz I think maybe he can be another power hitter with Chris Carter, Dexter Fowler, & some of the Astros hitters. Even he gets a 1 year deal or even a minor league contract anything can happen…

    • Ray_Kuhn_28

      No way a minor league contract does it for Cruz. A one year deal would likely be between $10 and $15 million. But it would make a huge difference in the lineup.

  • Gabrielle Pressler

    Cruz should come home to Texas because it the ranger time to shine .it not Cruz fault for the drug he did off season for a stomacth effiction. COME Home Cruz we need you we have.prince felder and chin chin choo .we got young player too putting Cruz back on will help us win.

  • Leif Daddow

    we need Cruz like a dog needs feathers on his hind-end.