Nelson Cruz Aug 8, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) hits a solo home run during the fourth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres have already had one of the best offseasons in baseball, and they added a great complementary piece Wednesday.

According to MLB Insider Héctor Gómez, the Padres and slugger Nelson Cruz have reached agreement on a one-year deal. The New York Post’s Jon Heyman first reported Tuesday the two sides had been talking.

The deal is reportedly for $1 million, according to ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez, who noted the Padres have been interested in Cruz for several years now.

Cruz will turn 43 July 1, but the seven-time All-Star has mostly cheated Father Time to this point. He has 459 career home runs and slugged 32 home runs as recently as 2021. Although he hit only 10 home runs and slashed .234/.313/.337 with the Washington Nationals in 2022, Cruz had vision issues. After offseason surgery in his left eye to help relieve inflammation that had blurred his vision, he’s ready for a productive 2023 campaign.

Cruz has been strictly a DH for several years now.

On paper, the Padres have the most fearsome lineup in recent MLB history. Imagine Cruz regaining his old form and batting sixth or seventh behind the likes of newly acquired shortstop Xander Bogaerts, Juan Soto, Manny Machado,  and Fernando Tatis Jr. Cruz is former teammates and good friends with both Soto and Machado.

[Héctor Gómez]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.