NY Mets trade rumors: DH trade candidate Nelson Cruz
The third designated hitter candidate that has been mentioned in Mets trade rumors comes from one of the Mets biggest rivals: the Washington Nationals. Slugger Nelson Cruz may be in his forties, and he may have gotten off to a slow start, but he is still hitting for power, delivering the Nationals many extra-base hits thus far this season.
Last offseason, Cruz signed a 1-year deal with the Nationals, which was surprising, given that the team was not expected to contend. Because that reality has settled in, the Nationals should be in full-sale mode as the Trade Deadline approaches, and there is no need for a 42-year-old slugger on a team that is going nowhere in 2022.
Cruz makes a lot of sense for the Mets. He offers a more powerful bat than Davis and Smith. He would easily slot in as the team’s designated hitter and would be best deployed hitting behind Pete Alonso, which would give Alonso protection and give him good pitches to hit.
Cruz would also be a relatively inexpensive option. Because of Cruz’s advanced age, and the fact that he is beginning to show signs of decline, the Mets would be able to retain all of their highly valued prospects in any potential deal for Cruz.
However, he is 42 years old. When Cruz was traded to the Rays last year from Minnesota, he did not perform well during the stretch run. There is a risk that the same occurrence happens with them. What is concerning about Cruz is that his bat speed has diminished, which means more fastballs are zipping by him before he can catch up to them. This is usually a tell-tale sign for a slugger in decline.
Unlike some of the hitters described in this article, Cruz is also the most limited. At this stage in his career, Cruz can only serve as the designated hitter. He has only spent one game at first base in his career, and his days roaming the outfield have been extinct for years.
However, Cruz represents a lower cost option to the final designated hitter on this list, who also makes a lot of sense for the Mets.