The 2021 MLB regular season is more than two months old and I think we've all settled into the daily grind that is marathon regular season baseball. The 60-game sprint was fun in its own way last year given the circumstances. Give me the full 162-game experience every day of the week though.
Throughout the season the CBS Sports MLB scribes will bring you a weekly roundtable breaking down, well, pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we debated two of the most disappointing teams in baseball. This week we're going to find a landing spot for one of the best rental bats on the trade market.
Which team should trade for Nelson Cruz if the Twins sell?
Dayn Perry: I'll say Cleveland. Cruz wouldn't be an ideal fit once Franmil Reyes gets healthy, but this team sorely needs offense -- and power especially -- in the lineup. Maybe once Reyes returns from his oblique injury, he can stand around in an outfield corner or try some first base. Again, it's not an optimal pairing based on what it does to the defense, but getting a middle-of-the-order bat like Cruz is just what Cleveland needs to solidify themselves as contenders. That said, it's possible the Twins won't trade him within the division, and it's even less likely that Cleveland ownership actually, you know, invests in the on-field product to even this limited extent.
R.J. Anderson: Cleveland is a good pick. I'll go with a different small-market team and say the Athletics. Oakland has received some of the worst production from the DH spot in the American League, with Mitch Moreland failing to live up to what he did early last season. Cruz would change that. Besides, it's been too long since Billy Beane, David Forst, and company made a compelling blockbuster at the deadline. Why not change that this year?
Matt Snyder: Let's get nuts. I know the White Sox sometimes look like a team with multiple DHs playing the field, but they've made it work to this point. They've lost Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal to serious injury, just as they did Eloy Jiménez before the season started. , but you still can't be sure when he'll be ready to play everyday. Plus, Yermín Mercedes has mostly stopped hitting and Adam Eaton has been awful. I don't know how you'd deal with the defensive alignment, but I'd love to see them add a bopper like Cruz to a team that has been drastically-less homer-reliant than many thought they'd be.
Mike Axisa: The Athletics would be my pick -- I think it would be very fun to see them go all-in and trade for Cruz and Trevor Story at the deadline -- but for the sake of variety, I'll go with the Rays. They're a rotating DH team (they've started seven different players at DH multiple times each) and their DHs are hitting .215/.298/.415 this season. They can do better than that, and they're never going to have a better chance to win the World Series than this year. Tampa was connected to Cruz as a free agent a few times in recent years, and I assume there's lingering interest. Cruz is an obvious fit.