MLB free agency: Twins reportedly sign Nelson Cruz to boost their lineup

The Minnesota Twins have been aggressive this winter in adding power to their lineup. Entering Christmas, they had already claimed first baseman C.J. Cron off waivers and signed second baseman Jonathan Schoop to a one-year deal. On Thursday, the Twins struck again: inking free-agent DH Nelson Cruz to a one-year deal that comes with a club option.

Cruz has been a highly productive hitter in recent seasons. Since 2016 he's batted .278/.359/.538 (144 OPS+) with 40 home runs on average. He's homered at least 35 times in each of the last five years, and hasn't finished with an OPS+ below 130 since 2013.

While there's no questioning Cruz's track record, his age does raise some concern. Next season will mark his age-38 campaign. It's fair to expect that, at some point, Cruz won't possess the physical ability to maintain his high level of production. When that'll happen is anyone's guess.

The Twins, for their part, sure hope it isn't in 2019. 

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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