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The Minnesota Twins have beaten out the opposing
04-15-2019, 12:00 PM,
The Minnesota Twins have beaten out the opposing
clubs to sign free-agent Larry Doby Jersey , Nelson Cruz.Cruz's contract is reportedly worth $14.3 million for this upcoming season. He will also be receiving a team option worth $12 million for the 2020 season. If the Twins decide not to exercise his option, then the buyout for him would cost $300K.The Twins were reportedly not the only team interested in signing Cruz either. There were also two other teams that were seriously interested in his services. Those teams included the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays.#Astros plan was to team Cruz with Michael Brantley and make their deep offense deeper. #Rays were willing to do a second splurge (for their market) after Charlie Morton. But #Twins won out on Cruz.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 27, 2018advertisingCruz will turn 39-years-old on Canada Day, but for those of you who are reading this outside of Canada, it will just be July 1, 2018. The veteran has still been a very productive hitter despite being in his late 30's.Last season showed signs of a little regression from what Cruz has produced in the last few seasons before. However, the six-time All-Star was still able to record 37 home-runs, 97 RBI's along with a .256 batting average.Those 37 home-runs ranked Cruz eighth in home-runs throughout the American League. Which shows he can still produce at an All-Star level Bob Feller Jersey , which is also why he was able to command $14 million for next season.advertising Sporting NewsAlthough, last season may be the start of what's to come for Cruz. Even though he mainly only has to worry about hitting, he is starting to show signs that he won't be around the game for much longer.Cruz's slugging percentage was the one big regressions he suffered last season. His percentage dropped .040 from just the season before. He also appeared in the fewest games in a season since 2013.He was benched in those games due to him needing more rest and time to recover. Which definitely shows that this could continue for the remaining seasons that he is in the league for. This is a big reason why he also only received a contract that guarantees him for just one season.advertisingThere's no question that he will still be a productive hitter for the Twins next season. It's just a matter of question if he will be able to appear in more than 140 games next season, due to needing more rest between games and series he plays in.What This MeansCruz should provide the Twins with that middle of the order bat that they will be able to pair next to Miguel Sano in their lineup. Even with him being towards the end of his career, he should still be able to produce at least 30 home runs and around 90 RBI's next season.However, if the Twins exercise the second year in his contract then this will likely be the last deal he will ever sign in the MLB. Because it would be hard to imagine a lot of teams lining up to sign a 40-year-old player who can only serve as the designated hitter. SEATTLE (AP) — The Oakland Athletics clinched their first playoff berth in four years Monday night, earning at least an American League wild card when the Tampa Bay Rays lost to the New York Yankees.Following three straight last-place finishes in the AL West, the A’s found out just a couple of minutes after the first pitch of their game against Seattle that they are in the postseason for the first time since 2014.Tampa Bay’s 4-1 loss to the Yankees eliminated the Rays from playoff contention. Oakland still has an outside shot at overtaking Houston for the division title , but is more likely headed toward a wild-card matchup with the Yankees.The A’s could still host that game. They beat the Mariners 7-3 to remain 1½ games behind the Yankees for the top wild card.Few people imagined the A’s could make the playoffs this season, a young team with few proven stars after finishing 75-87 a year ago. Oakland won only 68 games in 2015 and 69 in 2016.The A’s have the third-lowest payroll among the 30 major league clubs at $78 million for their 40-man roster, ahead of only the White Sox and Rays.Oakland was 34-36 and 11 games behind Seattle in the wild-card race on June 15. The A’s have gone 61-26 since then.“We’ve had some younger players mature and become, for me, stars,” manager Bob Melvin said Monday. “I think the two guys on the corners (third baseman Matt Chapman and first baseman Matt Olson) should win Gold Gloves.“Our defense is night-and-day to what it was and it’s gotten better as the year’s gone along. We’ve gone from last year being one of the worst defenses in the league to now one of the best. Our bullpen has been a strength for us all year. We don’t just rely on one facet. We seem to be able to win in different ways.”Oakland designated hitter Khris Davis leads the majors with a career-high 46 home runs and has 120 RBIs. Davis has hit at least 40 homers and driven in more than 100 runs in each of this three seasons with the Athletics.Blake Treinen is 9-2 and one of the top closers in baseball this season with 37 saves and a 0.80 ERA, the lowest of all major league relievers with at least 75 innings pitched. Opponents have a .091 batting average against him with runners in scoring position.“It’s amazing,” Melvin said. “Not only is he doing it closing games Joe Carter Jersey , he’s doing it in games when we’re tied and he’s pitching two innings at times. The numbers are absolutely fantastic. I don’t know that I’ve seen numbers like that from any closer in quite some time. He’s meant a lot to this team.”The A’s are the only team in the majors with an undefeated record this season when leading after seven innings (68-0). They have the best record in one-run games at 31-13.Oakland made key moves to bolster the pitching staff via trades over the summer by adding veteran relievers Jeurys Familia and Fernando Rodney and starter Mike Fiers, who is 5-1 with a 2.90 ERA since joining the Athletics.The A’s overcame losing key starters from their rotation down the stretch. That included left-hander Sean Manaea, who pitched a no-hitter on April 21 against Boston and is now done for the year recovering from arthroscopic shoulder surgery that took place this past week.The Athletics are making their fourth playoff appearance in the last seven seasons (all under Melvin) and their 27th postseason appearance all-time. The A’s lost at Kansas City 9-8 in 12 innings in the 2014 wild-card game, the last time Oakland reached the postseason.The last time the A’s reached the World Series was 1990, losing in four games to the Cincinnati Reds. Oakland won the 1989 World Series (which took place during the Bay Area earthquake) in four straight games over the San Francisco Giants.

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