MLB free agency rumors: Twins to pick up Nelson Cruz's $12M option for 2020

Sporting News

The Twins will exercise their $12 million option on slugger Nelson Cruz's contract for 2020, MLB Network reported.

The move comes as no surprise after Cruz, 39, gave the Twins good bang for their buck in 2019.

An under-the-radar free-agent signing for $14 million in 2019, all he did was hit 41 home runs in his first season with the Twins while slashing .311/.392/.639, leading the team in batting average and on-base percentage, with 108 RBIs, second only to Eddie Rosario (109).

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A five-time All-Star, including in 2018, the veteran designated hitter was a major cog in the Twins' high-powered offense as Minnesota hit an MLB-record 307 home runs this season en route to winning the AL Central with a 101-61 mark.

Talking during the Twins' AL Division Series against the Yankees, Cruz had expressed hope that he would return with the team next season.

“I want to be back,” Cruz said. “I don’t have that call, but hopefully they can pick up the option. The future looks really bright for us so I want to be part of a winning team for many years. So hopefully, they give me the chance to be back with the team.”

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His 2019 season marked the fourth time in the past six seasons he hit 40 or more homers. He has hit more than 20 home runs in 11 consecutive seasons.

The Twins were expected to make the move after their season ended with a sweep by the Yankees in the ALDS.

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