Okay, so this has been a hotly contested on again off again move for months and now, barring some unforeseen unpleasantness during medicals, Nelson (HaHa) Cruz will be a member of the 2014 Orioles.
Lots of chatter about this deal, so let's see what's what:
Keith Law, ESPN, "He's a solid fit for Baltimore, however, as the team had no real DH option on the roster, just several part-time players from whom they could have cobbled together a decent platoon. Cruz is better than any of those individual options, a destroyer of southpaws who hits right-handed pitching for enough power to keep him in the lineup every day, although spelling him against the best righties wouldn't be a bad strategy"
...let's just let that sink in for a second.
Joe Lemire, The Strike Zone, "It's rarely advisable to give up so many high draft picks, but the urgency to win now in Baltimore might be worth it. Plus, the Orioles might be able to withstand a fallow draft year. They have the no. 10 farm system in baseball, according to ESPN's Keith Law, with four pitchers in the top 43- Kevin Gausman (No. 23), Dylan Bundy (No. 31), Hunter Harvey (No. 38) and Eduardo Rodriguez (No. 43)-as well as infielder Jonathan Schoop (No. 86)."
Dayn Perry, Eye On Baseball, "So we have a player who addresses a manifest weakness, will be placed in an environment that suits his skills and power profile and - - in keeping with "best practices" - - will rarely be picking up a glove. Under those circumstances and at the cost of just $8 million over a single season (plus the loss of a draft pick, of course), Cruz is a good fit in Baltimore. Contrary to expectations earlier in the offseason, the market certainly figured this one out."
Cruz for 1/8 is fascinating. Had heard in December that he just didn't want to play in Seattle. This seems to support that.— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) February 22, 2014
...and now from the schadenfreude division:
Jeff Sullivan, U.S.S. Mariner, "The Orioles signed Nelson Cruz. We were all prepared to hate whatever contract he was going to sign. They gave him a year and eight million. That’s…not so bad. That’s downright reasonable, considering."
Cruz apparently in Baltimore at 1/8. With loss of 55th (or so) pick, ZiPS evaluates a fair contract for Cruz at 1/2.2.— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) February 22, 2014
But the O's *are* at a likely win range in which ever additional one is super valuable and he's not displacing any good options.— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) February 22, 2014
Killing your last 3 first round picks makes it easier to do things like this. O's have 5 top 100 prospects, remember. Farm is very top heavy— Jeff Long (@BSLJeffLong) February 22, 2014
Paul Folkemer, Press Box, "Cruz still has his share of warts -- in addition to the PED controversy, he is an oft-injured player who only once has played 130 games or more during a season. The Orioles are certainly taking a risk by signing Cruz, and there's a chance it will backfire. But for the Birds, it might be a gamble worth taking."