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San Diego Padres land another slugger, sign 7-time All-Star Nelson Cruz

MLB: Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres
Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres have been extremely active on the MLB free-agent market mere months after a trip to the National League Championship Series.

Continuing with their free-spending ways, multiple reports indicate that the Padres have landed 42-year-old slugger Nelson Cruz. ESPN’s Jeff Passan notes that the deal is for one year and valued at $11 million.

For San Diego, this comes after the team inked start shortstop Xander Bogaerts to a record 11-year, $280 million contract back in December. The team has also picked up veterans Matt Carpenter and Seth Lugo as it looks to compete for a World Series title in 2023.

The signing of Cruz pretty much rounds out San Diego’s lineup. He should at the very least be a part-time designated hitter in Southern California.

Since making his debut with the Milwaukee Brewers all the way back in 2005, Cruz has proven to be among the most consistent power hitters in the game. He’s hit north of 30 homers eight times in his career, including belting 40-plus dingers four times.

At the advanced age of 42, it’s not yet known what Nelson Cruz will be able to bring to the table for the San Diego Padres. He hit .234 with 10 homers and 64 RBI as a member of the Washington Nationals a season ago. That came after Cruz belted 32 homers in stops with the Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays back in 2021.

Related: San Diego Padres’ Xander Bogaerts and MLB’s highest-paid players of 2023

San Diego Padres projected lineup after signing Nelson Cruz

san diego padres sign nelson cruz
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Already boasting one of the most-potent lineups in the game, adding Cruz to the mix could be a boon for the Friars. Here’s how their lineup could shake out in 2023.

  1. Fernando Tatis Jr.
  2. Juan Soto
  3. Manny Machado
  4. Xander Bogaerts
  5. Nelson Cruz
  6. Jake Cronenworth
  7. Matt Carpenter
  8. Trent Grisham
  9. Austin Nola