Twins sign free agent slugger Nelson Cruz

Twins make Nelson Cruz the centerpiece of their quest to add...

Twins make Nelson Cruz the centerpiece of their quest to add...

In other words, Cruz is guaranteed $14.3 million and the deal could be worth as much as $26 million over two seasons. (Cruz accepted the suspension and explained he'd "made an error in judgment" while combatting an illness.) His free-agent market thinned as a result, prompting Cruz to take a one-year deal in Baltimore.

The Twins were near the bottom of baseball in home runs last season with 166. He was not a regular for another two years when, in 2009, he hit 33 home runs and was an All-Star for the first of six times.

Cruz also had three 100 RBIs seasons over the past five years. Alongside the veteran outfielder, Minnesota has added infielders C.J. Cron and Johnathan Schoop who both hit more than 20 home runs last season to their roster.

The 38-year-old Las Matas de Santa Cruz, Dominican Republic native spent the last four seasons with the Seattle Mariners. Yahoo Sports first reported the agreement on a deal. Since 2016 he's batted.278/.359/.538 (144 OPS+) with 40 home runs on average. He also had 18 doubles and one triple, along with 70 runs, in 133 hits over 519 at-bats. General manager Thad Levine was with the Texas Rangers from 2005-16, overlapping with Cruz's time there (2006-13), so there's some unique familiarity there.

Cruz has been a highly productive hitter in recent seasons.

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