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Dodgers Hot Stove: LA Reportedly Pursuing Nelson Cruz

The implementation of the universal DH opens the door to NL teams signing sluggers who have long resided in the AL. The Dodgers have been quick on the uptake and according to multiple reports, are interested in signing Nelson Cruz.

ESPN’s Enrique Rojas stated that the Dodgers are one of eight teams in the running to sign Cruz.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal also reported LA’s interest in Cruz. He added that signing Cruz and signing Freddie Freeman are not mutually exclusive plans for the Dodgers.

“The inclusion of a universal DH in the labor agreement makes it possible the Dodgers could add both Freeman and Cruz, who also is drawing interest from the Padres. The Dodgers seemingly believe they could afford both as well; Freeman likely will end up in the $25 million to $30 million range annually on a long-term deal, while Cruz figures to receive about the same salary that he did last season, $13 million, for one year.”

Fabian Ardaya, also of The Athletic, believes Cruz would fit into the Dodgers plan to rotate a multitude of players through the DH spot. 

Cruz began 2021 as a member of the Twins before Minnesota traded him to the Rays before the deadline. The Dominican slugger produced a respectable .265/.334/.497 slashline in 140 games played. Not bad for a 40-year-old.

Much like fellow Dominican Albert Pujols, Cruz made his bones against left-handed pitching. Against southpaws, he logged a .913 OPS, but was not as successful against righties (.791 OPS).

The 2021 Roberto Clemente award winner could potentially be a great fit on the Dodgers as a veteran slugger who still has plenty of power.

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  1. It’s possible that part of our thinking on Cruz is that we are trying to keep him away from the Padres give that we will have at least two lefties in our rotation. He also makes a awesome right-handed bat off the bench and sometime DH. This year’s Albert?