San Diego Padres Photo Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres made a notable roster move on Tuesday as they try to rebound from a disappointing first half (43-47 record) of the 2023 Major League Baseball season.

One week after designating Nelson Cruz for assignment, the Padres have released the veteran slugger, according to MLB’s transactions page.

Cruz — who turned 43 on July — 1 signed a one-year, $1 million contract with San Diego over the offseason.

After Cruz struggled in 2022 with the Washington Nationals (.234/.313/.337 slash line; -0.8 wins above replacement per FanGraphs), the Padres had hopes that he’d rediscover his powerful hitting ways that were still there as recently as 2o21 (.265/.334/.497; 123 wRC+). But, Cruz had the same struggles in 2023 with San Diego, slashing .245/.283/.399 with five home runs and the same 85 wRC+ — league average is 100 — that he had last season. And he’s purely a designated hitter at this stage of his career, so he has to hit a lot to carry much value.

Cruz is a seven-time All-Star, most recently with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2021. Along with the Padres, Nationals, and Rays, he’s played for the Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, and Minnesota Twins.

Until the last two years, Cruz has been one of the best and most consistent hitters since 2008, topping a .900 OPS seven times and hitting at least 40 homers four times.

It will be interesting to see if Cruz gets another major-league opportunity, but the end of his illustrious career may be coming soon.

[MLB Transactions Page]

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