New York Mets and how they missed out on Nelson Cruz
By Richard Heaton
The Mets once went after Nelson Cruz. At the time he cost too much so they didn’t acquire him and now everyone regrets not getting him.
It’s true, when Nelson Cruz hit free agency at the end of the 2013 season, the New York Mets wanted him. But they didn’t want to pay him.
He turned down a qualifying offer, which was a pretty bad mistake and suffered at the hands of the free agent waters.
The Mets assumed that he would want a lot of money, more than they thought he was worth, especially because of all the injuries.
Some thought he wanted $15 million a year, so instead we signed Chris Young and Curtis Granderson. They signed Young to one year $7.25 million contract and Granderson to a four year $60 million contract.
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Eventually Cruz surprised everybody by agreeing to a one year $8 million deal with the Orioles. Even with the injuries and possibility of a decline in performance, that would have been something the Mets could easily agree to.
After his year ended with the Orioles, he went to the Mariners on a four year $57 million contract. Of course nobody could have known what Cruz would have produced after his stint with the Rangers was over, but the Mets really missed out.
Had the Mets given Cruz the same deal that they gave to Granderson, it would have been a steal for both sides. To some fans, even giving the contract to Cruz instead of to Granderson would have been an improvement.
Cruz made $8 million that year and went to make just a little over $14 million the next few years. $15 million a year for four years would have been more than he could ask for.
For the mets, paying $60 million for what he did would have been one of their best deals ever.
The Best Four years
Between 2014 and 2017, Cruz was one of the best hitters in baseball. He didn’t just hit for insane power (Chris Carter anyone?) but also for a high average.
During those four seasons, he averaged a little over 40 home runs and 105 RBI’s per season. He hit above .280 in three of those seasons. He was also an all-star three times, and made it into the top ten in MVP voting three times.
Even in 2018 Cruz hitting just over .250. But he’s on pace to crack 30 home runs for the fifth year in a row.
Cruz would have been a complete steal over the career .236 hitter they got in Young. He also would have been an improvement over Granderson as well at that price.
Next: Was it a mistake to sign Yoenis Cespedes to a mega-contract?
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Who is the next player that the Mets are going to miss out on? You know instinctively that the Mets will pass on a future All-star again soon.