A Frightening List of Nelson Cruz Comparisons

I don’t mean to pick on Nelson Cruz. I know I already named him as the biggest land mine of the 2014 free agent class, and I’m not trying to pile on. But down here in Orlando, it is widely expected that Cruz is going to sign in the next few days, probably for around $15 million per year for between three and five years, depending on how intense the bidding gets.

It’s nuts. The way the market for Cruz is shaping up, he very well could sign the most ridiculous free agent contract since the Barry Zito deal. Sure, there have been some serious overpays for overrated players in previous years, but in most of those cases, it’s just been too much money for a still-good player. Prince Fielder wasn’t worth $216 million, but Prince Fielder was a legitimately good player. Nelson Cruz isn’t even that. Nelson Cruz is a mediocrity on the verge of getting paid like a guy who matters.

So, teams bidding for Nelson Cruz, I would like to offer you a sobering list of comparisons that might make you reconsider your bids.

To identify Cruz-like players of recent vintage, I looked at all position players over the last 30 years with at at least 1,500 plate appearances in their age 30-32 seasons. I then filtered for players with similar offensive production by wRC+ (between 110 and 120) who created most of their value by hitting for power (ISO over .200) but not through accumulating walks (BB% less than 11%). Those filters produce this leaderboard:

Name PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Eric Karros 1,866 9% 18% 0.213 0.302 0.283 0.345 0.496 0.361 118 -0.6 43.7 -13.7 8.7
Torii Hunter 1,869 7% 17% 0.207 0.303 0.281 0.338 0.488 0.352 114 3.2 36.2 -16.2 8.2
Andre Dawson 1,778 6% 15% 0.225 0.280 0.276 0.320 0.501 0.350 117 0.3 36.0 -15.3 8.1
Geoff Jenkins 1,637 9% 23% 0.200 0.329 0.274 0.353 0.474 0.353 111 -6.2 17.4 1.1 7.3
Casey Blake 1,707 9% 20% 0.204 0.297 0.263 0.339 0.467 0.346 111 -0.1 23.4 -9.9 7.0
Luke Scott 1,559 11% 20% 0.231 0.289 0.266 0.348 0.497 0.362 119 -5.7 30.0 -26.4 5.7
Geronimo Berroa 1,907 10% 18% 0.200 0.308 0.284 0.354 0.484 0.364 117 -2.9 39.8 -58.3 4.7
Dante Bichette 1,815 5% 15% 0.246 0.330 0.320 0.354 0.566 0.390 116 -0.2 37.7 -52.1 4.2
Nelson Cruz 1,611 7% 23% 0.226 0.295 0.263 0.319 0.489 0.348 114 -8.1 17.1 -33.1 3.9
Ryan Howard 1,556 10% 28% 0.227 0.312 0.256 0.339 0.483 0.351 118 -21.9 11.3 -46.5 1.5
Average 1,731 8% 20% 0.218 0.305 0.277 0.341 0.495 0.358 116 -4.2 29.3 -27.0 5.9

As a group, those players posted a 116 wRC+, pretty close to the 114 wRC+ that Cruz put up over the last three years. He was a little worse than the group average at defense and baserunning and not getting suspended, so he grades out as 9th most valuable of the 10 players, but I think it’s fair to say that these guys are mostly Nelson Cruz type of hitters at least. Torii Hunter wasn’t really the same kind of player, since he could also run and play center field at least a credible level, but we’ll just keep him in the sample as the most optimistic evaluation of Cruz’s abilities.

So, how’d the other nine Cruz-like hitters do from ages 33 to 37, which would cover all five years of a potential deal if a team pushed that far? Take a look.

Name PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Torii Hunter 3037 8% 19% 0.171 0.332 0.291 0.350 0.462 0.353 123 1.5 82.7 -19.1 17.1
Andre Dawson 2858 6% 12% 0.208 0.285 0.284 0.327 0.493 0.355 121 1.3 68.3 -31.5 13.7
Casey Blake 2638 9% 21% 0.170 0.315 0.267 0.342 0.437 0.339 109 0.4 28.6 19.6 13.6
Dante Bichette 3007 6% 14% 0.197 0.322 0.306 0.347 0.503 0.364 101 -1.7 3.6 -84 1.6
Ryan Howard 317 7% 30% 0.199 0.349 0.266 0.319 0.465 0.334 111 -2.9 0.9 -6.5 0.4
Geoff Jenkins 322 8% 21% 0.147 0.286 0.246 0.301 0.392 0.299 75 0.3 -9.7 2.8 0.4
Luke Scott 871 9% 23% 0.191 0.264 0.231 0.303 0.421 0.314 99 -2.8 -3.8 -22.4 0.2
Eric Karros 1534 7% 15% 0.143 0.282 0.258 0.315 0.400 0.312 90 -5.7 -25.3 -28.4 -0.3
Geronimo Berroa 325 11% 21% 0.077 0.284 0.222 0.320 0.299 0.286 64 -0.2 -15.4 -5.3 -0.9
Average 1657 8% 19% 0.167 0.302 0.263 0.325 0.430 0.328 99 -1.1 14.4 -19.4 5.1

Ryan Howard has only had his age-33 season, but he doesn’t exactly look like a guy on the cusp of producing significant value over the next few years, and is a grim reminder of just how quickly a player like this can go south. And the rest of the group isn’t particularly encouraging either. Geoff Jenkins and Geronimo Berroa were basically useless, and Luke Scott has been a replacement level scrub for the last three years after being one of the game’s best hitters at age-32. Even Erik Karros and Dante Bichette, who managed to hang around for a while and accumulate a decent amount of playing time, were essentially replacement level from age-33 on.

Three of the nine guys went on to be perfectly productive big leaguers, but they are also perhaps the three least Cruz-like players on the original list. Hunter, as noted, was a pretty athletic center fielder, and we’ve already shown that good athletes with broad skill sets usually age pretty well. Dawson hadn’t been a center fielder for a while, but he was also a pretty fantastic athlete, and his earlier career performance established a much higher level of talent than anything Cruz has shown to date. And Casey Blake was a third baseman who accumulated a lot of his late career value through positive fielding ratings; his 109 wRC+ would have made him a marginal starter if he was a Cruz-like defender.

So, basically, 2/3 of the guys who looked like Nelson Cruz at a similar point in their careers were worthless after age-33, and the 1/3 who weren’t created a lot of value in ways that Cruz does not. And remember, they were all significantly more valuable players from 30-32 than Cruz was, as they produced an average of about +2.5 WAR per 600 plate appearances during the three year comparison period, while Cruz is only at +1.4 WAR per 600 over the last three years.

If Cruz could play defense, his upside would be Casey Blake. If he could play defense and run, then maybe he’d have a shot at being Andre Dawson or Torii Hunter. Those guys were valuable contributors in their mid-30s, and their performance levels would justify the kind of contract Cruz is seeking.

Really, though, Cruz is much more like Dante Bichette, Ryan Howard, Geronimo Berroa, and Luke Scott. He’s a bat-only player whose bat isn’t that special. When the bat declines, he’s not going to have anything left to fall back on. Those guys, the hitter-only versions of this kind of player, were pretty much all terrible from this point on.

I thought Nelson Cruz would be a bad signing at the crowd’s forecasted contract of $32 million over three years. Now, it sounds like he might double that guaranteed dollar figure, simply because teams have gotten hung up on finding “right-handed power” and are ignoring the huge red flags that go along with this particular right-handed power hitter. It is kind of crazy to give up these reported kinds of significant dollars — and a draft pick, since Cruz got a qualifying offer from the Rangers — for a player who has a very real chance of being an absolute zero from the moment he signs the deal.

Run away, interested teams. Do anything else. Give anyone else your money. It will be better spent than giving it to Nelson Cruz.



Print This Post



Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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sneaky_flute
Guest
sneaky_flute
2 years 5 months ago

I agree that it would be unwise to bring him back, but you’re clearly biased against every AL West move that doesn’t involve the Mariners.

Timeghoul
Guest
Timeghoul
2 years 5 months ago

What

Ben
Guest
Ben
2 years 5 months ago

In this case it is more Cameron being clearly biased against an AL West move that might involve the Mariners.

Mariners have money and need an right handed outfielder. Nelson Cruz is one of these things and wants one of these things.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman
2 years 5 months ago

I was going to say that this post screams “Cruz is going to the Mariners”, then realized 2 of the first 5 comments were already saying that.

BX
Guest
BX
2 years 5 months ago

Except the part where the Mariners are the favorites to land Cruz.

Doubling down on a bad thesis guy
Guest
Doubling down on a bad thesis guy
2 years 5 months ago

Yeah but still.

Jack Zduriencik
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Jack Zduriencik
2 years 5 months ago

At least 22 homers every year since 2009 to go along with 76+ RBI and you’re telling me he’s not even worth 3/32?

Grant
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Grant
2 years 5 months ago

troll

Jake
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Jake
2 years 5 months ago

Read the name. That was brilliant.

Simon
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Simon
2 years 5 months ago

I would say no more than solid-average.

Sam
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Sam
2 years 5 months ago

Great to hear a Zduriencik posting on Fangraphs. Maybe this is the beginning of his embrace of saber. Baby steps.

Cybermetrics guy
Guest
Cybermetrics guy
2 years 5 months ago

Z’s more likely a Beer Graphs reader…

JoseCansecoForMayor
Member
2 years 5 months ago

He’s garbage. I did a similar study on Nelson Cruz at Prospect Insider but I included Kendrys Morales as well, so the parameters were slightly different. Still got a lot of the same players

http://prospectinsider.com/valuing-nelson-cruz-and-kendrys-morales

B N
Guest
B N
2 years 5 months ago

I don’t know about Cruz, but I predict that if Morales sticks to anything near his asking price, he’s going to be “seeking” a new line of employment for the next summer. At least Cruz can do something in the field and actually had at least one really good season.

Morales is like Cruz without a position and with less upside. If anybody gives him over 8m for one year, it’s likely going to be a real overpay. Kudos to the Mariners front office, however, for knowing that Morales and his agent would be dumb enough to reject the qualifying offer. The only question becomes: is there a bigger fool in the house?

B N
Guest
B N
2 years 5 months ago

*8m/year… though, to be frank, that’s a thinko I’d stand behind. I wouldn’t give him $9m for next year unless I was pretty desperate to save my GM job or something.

JJ
Guest
JJ
2 years 5 months ago

So Ryan Divish reports in his chat here that there’s rumors Nelson Cruz turned down 5/75 from the M’s.

Jack Zduriencik
Guest
Jack Zduriencik
2 years 5 months ago

Afer reading this report, I have decided to offer Nelson Cruz 6/$120m.

Dayton Moore
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

Bro enough with your cybermetrics who says you know everything right now?

8/$390 mill.

Suck that cyber dork.

Howard Lincoln
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Howard Lincoln
2 years 5 months ago

Dingers.

It’s all about them Dingers.

Chuck Armstrong
Guest
Chuck Armstrong
2 years 5 months ago

I love Dingers too.

Westside guy
Member
Member
Westside guy
2 years 5 months ago

And having a nice, safe ballpark environment from which to watch your team lose games.

Cory
Guest
Cory
2 years 5 months ago

The power is nice, but RBI’s are more of a product of his great line-up.

Dayton Moore
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

BRO CHILL I GOT THIS.

Josh
Guest
Josh
2 years 5 months ago

Couldn’t be happier that the Dodgers have a OF surplus so they definitely won’t be in on him. He is such a Colletti player its scary

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 years 5 months ago

You know, I’m not frequently a Colletti defender, but I’m not sure I agree with you. The Dodgers are not known for their power hitters, and that hasn’t changed lately, as they haven’t made much effort to sign them. I think he has more of a weakness for “little things” players. I think of Juan Pierre. I worry they would sign Michael Young.

Also relievers. Colletti has given out some of the most befuddling contracts to relievers who aren’t even good.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman
2 years 5 months ago

By the way, the main difference between age 30-32 Nelson Cruz and age 30-32 Carlos Lee was Lee’s much higher wRC+ (he was worth 8.5 WAR over those years), and age 33-37 Carlos Lee managed to be worth 2.4 WAR over four years. So there’s another “inspiring” example of an aging, pudgy, bat-only corner outfielder for Cruz to follow.

Alexander Nevermind
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Alexander Nevermind
2 years 5 months ago

When did Cruz get “pudgy”?

Monkeyepoxy
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Monkeyepoxy
2 years 5 months ago

Heh, yeah. For all his faults as a player… dude is absolutely ripped.

Feeding the Abscess
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Feeding the Abscess
2 years 5 months ago

I’d call someone like Corey Maggette absolutely ripped. Nelson Cruz is more big than ripped.

Picking nits, I guess, but yeah.

Bill
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Bill
2 years 5 months ago

He wasn’t suspended for nothing.

OutliarBaseball.com
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

What hitters are left that you would sign instead? It seems like the best hitter left on the market (regardless of the talent level) might get overpaid every time.

Shin-Soo Choo
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Shin-Soo Choo
2 years 5 months ago

‘Sup.

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 5 months ago

Worst trend on this site. It isn’t funny or clever. Just say the player’s name.

Logan Morrison
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Logan Morrison
2 years 5 months ago

What’s wrong with that message?

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 5 months ago

YOU LET ME HAVE MY JOYLESS EXISTENCE!

*Goes home to a Christmas tree-less house, sits in the dark, turns the hose on Christmas carolers, takes the bell away from the Salvation army guy outside Target*

Existenz the motion picture
Guest
Existenz the motion picture
2 years 5 months ago

I was also a joyless Existenz too.

Ian R.
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

Sign nobody. Trade for a hitter or carry on with whoever you’ve got in-house.

Or, yeah, Shin-Soo Choo.

Mr. X
Guest
Mr. X
2 years 5 months ago

Good to know the Diamondbacks won’t be taking him.

Joebrady
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

Not for nothing, but he is a perfect replacement for Kubel, and Ross if he doesn’t return. Older, slow-footed outfielders coming off of career seasons, aren’t that easy to find.

Matthew
Member
Member
2 years 5 months ago

Dante Bichette’s 1999 season was so weird. He hit 34 HR and had a .379 wOBA, but due to insane park factor was league average offensively. His -40 Def put him at -2.0 WAR.

I think Cruz is another example of clueless MLB teams undervaluing defense. Teams are signing DHs to play the field causing them to overpay. David Ortiz,Carlos Beltran, and Nelson Cruz all will make $15M next year. They are all valued similar defensively despite Ortiz DHing full time. David Ortiz averaged a 158 wRC+ over the past three years. Beltran averaged 136 wRC+. Cruz averaged 114 wRC+.

triple_r
Member
Member
B N
Guest
B N
2 years 5 months ago

Indeed. Given those choices, Ortiz is the no-brainer. And yet… some teams… (shrug)

steve
Guest
steve
2 years 5 months ago

Beltran has a much smaller handedness split and is a much better base runner.

David
Member
David
2 years 5 months ago

I wonder if any of these teams have considered signing me. I have 0.0 career WAR, which is probably what Cruz will put up over the next few seasons. I’ll also be cheaper.

DR
Guest
DR
2 years 5 months ago

You would produce negative WAR.

David
Member
David
2 years 5 months ago

I’ve been at zero WAR every year, so I bet ZiPS likes my chances at replicating that again this year.

rusty
Guest
rusty
2 years 5 months ago

Are you sure? I thought it stood for Wins Above Reader(, fangraphs)

Billy
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Billy
2 years 5 months ago

Unless your last name is Aardsma or something, I’m pretty sure you’d actually be worth some very large (by absolute value) negative number in WAR if given Cruz’ projected playing time next season. While I too raised my hand at the “Give anyone else your money.” part, the only way I’d be worth 0.0 WAR in the bigs is if you kept me on the bench all season (maybe I could pinch run).

However, seeing as you’re reading fangraphs, it’s likely you’d probably be one of the smartest guys in the front office for any team crazy enough to think about giving Cruz that kind of money, which would likely help the team win more than Cruz would. I’d go that route.

Rob
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Rob
2 years 5 months ago

you probably couldn’t pinch run

Billy
Guest
Billy
2 years 5 months ago

How do you know? Have you seen my times?

Please don’t just assume the worst of people and put people down just for the Hell of it. For goodness’s sake, I said “maybe.”

Andrew J
Guest
Andrew J
2 years 5 months ago

Not that it’s worth getting into, but there is more to being a good baserunner than just your times. Unless you have played a significant amount of baseball (which could be true in all fairness), I’d say there is as good a chance you get picked off as there is you do something valuable on the basepaths.

Iron
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Iron
2 years 5 months ago

Unless your last name is Hamilton or something.

Josh Hamilton
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Josh Hamilton
2 years 5 months ago

True, most of my huge value comes on the basepaths…

Tad Hamilton
Guest
Tad Hamilton
2 years 5 months ago

Who wants to win a date with me?

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 years 5 months ago

Yeah and you’d have to spend an insane amount of time studying the pitchers in the game today so you’d know their moves and stuff.

Iron
Guest
Iron
2 years 5 months ago

Jeez, his name here is “Billy” and made a “unless your last name is” statement and then went on to talk about being a player who would get value from his work on the base paths. Billy Hamilton? Who stole 155 bases in the minors? C’mon people, I’m disappointed in you.

Tom
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Tom
2 years 5 months ago

Exactly my thoughts, thanks for the data

Ayala
Guest
Ayala
2 years 5 months ago

Considering Ryan Divish posted an update saying the Mariners offered Cruz a 5 year/$75 million contract already, I can understand why Dave would be terrified. Cruz did turn it down at least (somehow).

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 years 5 months ago

He wants to ride an already-good team to the world series where he can hit one home run and be considered the series hero and a borderline hall of famer.

Casey
Guest
Casey
2 years 5 months ago

Why do you keep saying that Cruz can’t play defense. He has always been a very solid RF. On Bill James’ runs saved, he was -3 last year and every year, other than 2012, he is about average in Right. That has value. He is a tough out and, hits the longball. He might get overpaid but, that’s the nature of free agency. I think you were too harsh on him.

Ian R.
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

So… you’re telling me that he was below-average (albeit barely) last year and below-average in 2012, otherwise known as the year immediately before last? And he’s on the wrong side of 30? That might be the problem there.

By UZR, Cruz has been below-average (though far from horrendous) for the past three seasons. He used to be a good outfielder, but age has taken its toll.

As far as the “tough out” part is concerned, Cruz was 39th out of 94 AL players who qualified for the batting title in pitches per plate appearance last year. That’s not bad, but it’s not great either – he’s basically average. He’s certainly not good at not making outs: his career OBP is .327, which is a dead match for what he did in 2013.

Sure, he hits the long ball… in Texas. 92 of his 157 career home runs, almost 60 percent, have come at home. I realize all players hit better at home, but when you’re an aging, right-handed corner outfielder with one plus skill that’s most assuredly ballpark-inflated, you’re not an especially valuable player.

Boris Chinchilla
Guest
Boris Chinchilla
2 years 5 months ago

save the commas for your momma

David Freese
Guest
David Freese
2 years 5 months ago

I’ve always thought he was a good fielder and got a good jump on the ball, unless say, it’s absolutely crushed.

Sam
Guest
Sam
2 years 5 months ago

If only he could take Peds so he could hit better. Oops.

tjk
Member
tjk
2 years 5 months ago

I’m desperate for the O’s to do something, and was thinking Cruz could be worth a go, but this is pretty damning. Now I’ll just huddle in a corner hoping he goes back to Texas.

Bill
Guest
Bill
2 years 5 months ago

They should pursue Choo, but I afraid instead they will lose with Cruz.

James
Guest
James
2 years 5 months ago

Why do the Mariners even need a stats analysis department when they can just read Cameron’s posts here and on USS Mariner?

Westside guy
Member
Member
Westside guy
2 years 5 months ago

Blengino’s as well.

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 5 months ago

Don’t understand the love for Cruz and Peralta while Drew is getting left out

Phillies!
Guest
Phillies!
2 years 5 months ago

Luke, is that you?

dive_stop
Guest
dive_stop
2 years 5 months ago

Peralta has at least been a durable player.

Both Cruz and Drew are likely to be grossly overpaid for their time on next year’s active roster wherever they end up.

Excelsior
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Excelsior
2 years 5 months ago

I don’t think Drew is getting left out so much as Boras is slow-rolling the market to let teams get desperate. That’s one of the reasons why the Cards signed Peralta so quickly: they didn’t want to suddenly NEED Drew and get stuck in a bidding war they may ultimately lose.

Sam Swindell
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Sam Swindell
2 years 5 months ago

A Drew signing means the loss of a draft pick.

Ruki Motomiya
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Ruki Motomiya
2 years 5 months ago

Is it weird that posts like this want to make teams with the compared players in MLB: The Show and such and see how they go?

vivalajeter
Guest
vivalajeter
2 years 5 months ago

Is it weird that I’ve read your post three times, and I have no idea what you’re trying to say?

Tom Jones
Guest
Tom Jones
2 years 5 months ago

It’s not unusual…

dustin
Guest
dustin
2 years 5 months ago

There’s a video game called “MLB: The Show” that lets you simulate managing a real baseball team with real MLB players. He wants to do that with some of the players listed as comps for Cruz.

Ruki Motomiya
Guest
Ruki Motomiya
2 years 5 months ago

What Dustin said.

Biggest problem is all the comps are 1B/OF…gotta think of how to fill the middle infield and catcher.

JKB
Guest
JKB
2 years 5 months ago

Some of the former members of REM had a side-band called The Baseball Project…

jruby
Member
Member
jruby
2 years 5 months ago

I know this is a baseball site, but someone had a similar-ish idea concerning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Greg Schiano. Unfortunately, all of Greg Schiano’s comps were Greg Schiano.

http://www.sbnation.com/2013/10/23/4862062/greg-schiano-breaking-madden

Franco
Guest
Franco
2 years 5 months ago

The upside to the Mets overpaying Granderson is that they can’t overpay Cruz now.

B N
Guest
B N
2 years 5 months ago

Unless they trade off some salary to free up space! Nelson Cruz could really fill the void left by Jason Bay, i.e. a player who is signed by the Mets who immediately loses his power and ability to regularly play the field.

Zen Madman
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

In all seriousness, that was my central thought while reading this article. I’m not crazy about the Granderson contract, but I’d loathe giving that deal to Cruz.

Johnston
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

It’s just a shame the Dodgers won’t sign him to a huge long-term contract. It’s a marriage made in Heaven: a team that overpays and a player who wants to be overpaid.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 5 months ago

I think every player would like to be overpaid, right? In fact, I think every person would like to be overpaid. I know I would!

Monetary Authorities
Guest
Monetary Authorities
2 years 5 months ago

Nope.

Sports Enthusiast
Guest
Sports Enthusiast
2 years 5 months ago

Wow. Career numbers for Cruz at the home ballparks of AL West teams excluding the recent addition Astros:
Oakland Coliseum: .192/.248/.352 with 11 2B and 6 HR in 202 PA.
Safeco Field: .238/.292/.442 with 11 2B and 8 HR in 187 PA.
Angels Stadium: .220/.275/.387 with 4 2B and 9 HR in 201 PA.
Rangers Stadium: .294/.356/.555 with 87 2B and 92 HR in 1598 PA.

Bay Area Bucco
Guest
Bay Area Bucco
2 years 5 months ago

The Pirates need a power-hitting right hander. I would say they should offer about 3/15, that seems pretty legit. Maybe not even.

hk
Guest
hk
2 years 5 months ago

If the Phillies trade Dom Brown, the Cruz sweepstakes has all the makings of a Z vs. RAJ bidding war, which should be fun.

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

“There are rumors that free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz turned down the Mariners’ offer of 5-years, $75 million.” – Seattle Times

“The term “process” has become a cliche in referring to front offices, but quite simply, there are few better examples of an organization that is blending traditional scouting with new ways of thinking than the Mariners.” – Dave Cameron

Bill
Guest
Bill
2 years 5 months ago

Of course, this quote came when Jack Z was listening to Blengino. It’s pretty clear now that without him, Jack Z is little more than Billy Bavasi with a cooler name.

bpdelia
Guest
bpdelia
2 years 5 months ago

Dude. I don’t agree with Cameron all the time but that was years ago when the mariners appeared to be doing exactly that best illustrates by the Gutierrez acquisition.

Over the last few years we’ve learned that the organization has lost much of its faith and talent in advanced metrics.

Therefore…. Opinions have changed.

New informing leading to different conclusions!!!

It must be totally awesome to have never ever made a mistake.

I don’t see Cameron, like, standing fingers in ears sticking to the position he argued for years ago.

So is Cameron to forever be judged because years ago he got something wrong?

I’m pretty sick of it.
Enough already.

LOL YOU
Guest
LOL YOU
2 years 5 months ago

It’s funny because Dave can sometimes be an arrogant dick whose words get treated like gospel by many FG/USSM fangirls/boys. Maybe he shouldn’t ever be like that #6org

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

I agree to some degree. I notice that Fangraphs cut out their ranking the organizations after the Giants front office got ranked 23 and 27 and won it all for example.

The hatchet job for the #27 was particularly biased and wrong. That year, smarting from the #6 org mocking, they’d dropped the M’s to #18 but still trumpeted the use of “modern analytic thinking” and saying the hiring of Tom Tango was a good thing.

But its not a good thing. Tom Tango doesn’t really know baseball players, and the old “you can’t scout a stat line” comes up to bite where it’s particularly painful. The team hiring him is losing out big time, he’s a mediocre talent.

And I’ve seen Cameron pretty recently on MLB network doing his usual arrogant schtick, so no, I don’t feel bad about busting some balls.

Jealousy, she is such an ugly thing
Guest
Jealousy, she is such an ugly thing
2 years 5 months ago

I’m sure they should have to come to you instead. Your predictions have all been true without fail! Teach us more. Be sure to post original content daily so we can all benefit from your wisdom and see the neverfail truthiness of it all!

nada
Guest
nada
2 years 5 months ago

Jealousy: Dude has a blog he linked to in his name, so you can go over there and troll him as you wish. But uh yeah, he does post original content (seemingly daily) and you can benefit from his wisdom and/or see the neverfail truthiness of it all (which is a hell of a phrase).

Naliamegod
Guest
Naliamegod
2 years 5 months ago

This is a different front office from the one Dave was talking about. Many of the people involved back then have left the organization and there is a completely different philosophy in place.

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

Cameron got Wizard of Oz’d, I’ll give you that.

JuanPierreDoesSteroids
Guest
JuanPierreDoesSteroids
2 years 5 months ago

But its a different front office now! While all those other teams had unnamed Ivy Leaguers running their “cybermetrics” department, they had the greatest internet blogger in the universe, TOM TANGO!!! Obviously you could tell that it was the greatest front office ever after that one offseason.

Joebrady
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

Smoak, Morales, Bay, Ibanez, Morse-Jack luvs himself DH’s.

I assume the only reason he didn’t sign Beltran is because he was running out of defensive slots for poor fielders.

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

Not to mention recent draftee DJ Peterson.

blindfolded
Guest
blindfolded
2 years 5 months ago

Uncontrollable fixation on oft-unreliable defensive metrics, automatically assuming said stats mean the guy is a beached whale when he’s obviously a pretty athletic player whose problems out there are due to bad routes ….

You too are not without your warts sir, but from a TX perspective thank you for driving his price down in case somebody in a real position of power buys this.

Joebrady
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

On a year-to-year basis, the metrics are weak, imo. However, over time, they become a lot more accurate. And there is not a lot of variance in Cruz’ numbers the past three years, with a -12.2, -11.2, and -9.7. I actually the Fielding Bible better for defensive stats, but even at that, his votes have been 2, 0, and 0 for 11, 12, and 13. And they mention a fair amount of RF’s.

So I am pretty sure that, in this case, the numbers are not ‘oft-unreliable’.

blindfolded
Guest
blindfolded
1 year 11 months ago

The point: DC’s fit-everything-in-whatever-box-he-decides’ assertion that “bad athletes don’t age well” doesn’t apply. Bad defensive metrics doesn’t automatically mean the guy is a bad athlete.

i love the free market
Guest
i love the free market
2 years 5 months ago

Mr Cameron, this could have been a excellent essay on why focusing on low OBP, high RH power types is not a smart GM strategy but instead you went into a passive-aggressive Cruz-hate opinion piece. “Run away, interested teams. Do anything else. Give anyone else your money. It will be better spent than giving it to Nelson Cruz.” are you kidding? Cruz has been a perfectly serviceable RF for years in TX and his impact when gone was quite noticeable. Power IS at a premium in PED-“free” era and especially this off-season. as always, a player’s ultimate value is a function of the other pieces put in place around him, something none of your selected metrics show. the tone of your piece makes me want to DISCOUNT what you are saying rather than give it much credence which is too bad because this is a timely subject.

SageYoung
Guest
SageYoung
2 years 3 months ago

As a Rangers fan, who has watched Cruz for every game over the last 5 years, I couldn’t agree more that his fielding is average at best, gets a poor jump on a ball, and it seems to be getting worse. HOWEVER, unmentioned in the article or any of the comments is the fact that he has a Hall of Fame throwing arm, and that, at least, has been fun to watch.

Good luck to the Orioles.

southie
Member
southie
2 years 1 month ago

Maybe the Jays should have signed him…

YouFeelDumb
Guest
YouFeelDumb
2 years 14 hours ago

Yes, you do

blindfolded
Guest
blindfolded
1 year 11 months ago

Holla holla. This is the sweet, sweet sound of particularly arrogant naysayers eating a fat bowl of juicy crow.

tx ball scout
Guest
tx ball scout
1 year 11 months ago

Classic Cameron.

wily mo
Member
1 year 8 months ago

this *is* a frightening list of nelson cruz comparisons

wpDiscuz