3. DH Nelson Cruz
Sometimes adding a player to a team is nice and easy. Other times, it takes adding an actual rule to the MLB rule book.
Under most circumstances, Nelson Cruz would be the type of batter that basically every team would want in their lineup. He hits for a good average, he gets on base, and he is adept at knocking the ball out of the park.
He also happens to be a designated hitter these days, and previously that ruled half the league out from signing him during the offseason.
Last season, though, the league utilized a universal DH during the Covid-shortened season, and it drew pretty positive reviews. With the league set to go through a tough CBA battle this offseason, most seem to think that adding this rule back in next year is one thing the owners and players union might actually be able to agree upon.
If that’s the case, Cruz will be coveted by a whole new set of teams. That group of teams could include the Milwaukee Brewers, whom Franco of MLBTR is predicting will sign the 41-year-old slugger.
Cruz’s reputation speaks for itself. He is a career .277 hitter, a seven-time All-Star, and has 449 career home runs to his name. Last season, as a 40-year-old, he still managed to slash .265/.334/.497 and swat 32 homers with 86 RBIs.
Cruz is projected for a one-year, $12MM contract by MLBTR, which seems like a lot for a player his age. And at some point, he will finally start declining. But the Brewers can use some extra offense, and that is something that Cruz has had no short supply of over the years. If he can squeeze one more year of it out, the ex-Brewer could be worth the money.
These three predictions by MLBTR writers range from the bold to the semi-reasonable for the Brewers. You probably wouldn’t get any arguments from the fans if any of them came true, though.