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Orioles, Nelson Cruz agree to terms on one-year, $8M contract

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Nelson Cruz and the Orioles have agreed to a one-year contract. (USATSI)
Nelson Cruz and the Orioles have agreed to a one-year contract. (USATSI)

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The Orioles and free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has confirmed. Earlier on Saturday, Heyman reported that the two sides were close to a deal. Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes values the deal at $8 million plus the chance to make another $750,000 in incentives, and Heyman confirms those figures.

This agreement comes mere days after the Orioles locked up right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez with a four-year, $50-million pact.

Last season, Cruz put up solid numbers for the Rangers: .266/.327/.506 (123 OPS+) with 27 homers before serving a 50-game Biogenesis-related suspension that cost him much of the stretch drive. For his career, the two-time All-Star owns an OPS+ of 114 and 157 homers across parts of nine major-league seasons.

Because of his sub-par range in the field, struggles hitting outside Arlington and body type, Cruz would likely not be a wise long-term investment, but on a one-year deal he's capable of helping Baltimore in 2014. With the O's, Cruz seems likely to spend the majority of his time at DH, where the Orioles last season struggled to find production.

Earlier this offseason, Cruz rejected the Rangers' qualifying offer of one year, $14.1 million and was at one point rumored to be seeking a $75-million deal, so, suffice it to say, he's been a bit chastened by the market this winter.

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