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Minnesota picks up $12 million option on Nelson Cruz


To no one’s surprise, the Minnesota Twins have exercised their $12 million option on designated hitter Nelson Cruz, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Cruz had what may have been the best season of his career this year, slashing .311/.392/.639 with 41 home runs and 108 RBI over 521 plate appearances. The 1.031 OPS was the highest of Cruz’s career.

The 39-year-old signed with the New York Mets as an amateur free agent all the way back in 1998.

However, he did not make his big-league debut until 2005, when he was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. He logged just seven plate appearances that season before the Brewers traded him to the Texas Rangers that ensuing offseason.

Cruz would go on to spend the next eight seasons with the Rangers but did not break out until his fourth year with the club, when he slashed .260/.332/.524 with 33 long balls and 76 RBI across 515 trips to the dish en route to an All-Star appearance.

The Dominican Republic native proceeded to earn a pair of All-Star selections in Texas, but amazingly enough, his best years were still to come.

Cruz joined the Baltimore Orioles for one season in 2014, and that year, he hit 40 home runs for the first time in his major-league tenure, adding 108 RBI with an OPS of .859.

That began a stretch of three straight 40-home-run seasons for Cruz, with the latter two coming with the Seattle Mariners.

Cruz spent four seasons with the Mariners and posted long-ball totals of 44, 43, 39 and 37. He also led the American League with 119 RBI in 2017.

The veteran owns a career slash line of .277/.346/.527 with 401 home runs. He has made six All-Star teams.