St. Louis Cardinals: Five low cost high reward free agents to sign

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 16: Maikel Franco #7 of the Kansas City Royals during an at-bat against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 16, 2020, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 16: Maikel Franco #7 of the Kansas City Royals during an at-bat against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 16, 2020, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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St. Louis Cardinals
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

Nelson Cruz

The St. Louis Cardinals pursuing Nelson Cruz would be contingent on the National League adopting the DH for the upcoming season. Cruz was the Minnesota Twins’ full-time designated hitter in 2019 and 2020. Both years he emerged as one of the top sluggers in MLB.

St. Louis needs another power bat to coincide with Paul Goldschmidt‘s. The Cardinals finished dead-last in MLB in home runs in 2020 by a significant margin. Brad Miller and Tyler O’Neill led the team in long balls with seven; Nelson Cruz hit more homers (16) than those two combined.

At 40 years old, Cruz won’t drive a high price. He’s, without a doubt, the least expensive 40-home run-potential player available, and that won’t change even if another 15 MLB teams unlock for him.

He’s gone on record requesting a two-year contract. It feels risky for any team to commit two seasons to a 40-year-old, but Cruz has been unphased by age for so long that a move specific to him hardly does feel risky. He may regress, though his regression would likely still result in 25+ homers in a season.

Next. Baseball not Included at 2024 Olympics. dark

Freeing the NL to enforce the DH would uncloud a dark market for Cruz, who’s deserving of many opportunities after a decade of offensive domination. St. Louis should jump at the chance to sign Nelson Cruz if the universal DH comes to fruition.