4 teams that could use Nelson Cruz as their designated hitter

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 07: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates his solo homerun in the third inning against the Boston Red Sox during Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 07, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 07: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates his solo homerun in the third inning against the Boston Red Sox during Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 07, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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SEATTLE, WA – SEPTEMBER 9: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Seattle Mariners smiles while adjusting his batting gloves between pitches during an at-bat in a game against the New York Yankees at Safeco Field on September 9, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners won 3-2. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA – SEPTEMBER 9: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Seattle Mariners smiles while adjusting his batting gloves between pitches during an at-bat in a game against the New York Yankees at Safeco Field on September 9, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners won 3-2. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /

Could the Seattle Mariners and Nelson Cruz be a fit this offseason?

Cruz had three All-Star appearances with the Mariners during his four years in the Pacific Northwest, hitting more home runs in a Seattle uniform (163) than he has in any other uniform (he has 449 career homers).

After just missing out on the postseason last year, the Mariners have already made moves to bolster the roster, inking reigning American League Cy Young winner Robbie Ray and trading for Adam Frazier. But does more need to be done for a team that finished in MLB’s bottom third in scoring last season (averaging 4.3 runs per game and actually being outscored by 51 runs during the entire campaign)?

That’s where slotting Cruz in as the designated hitter makes a lot of sense. Luis Torrens did well in the role in 2021 and could well keep that momentum going in 2022. However, if the Mariners have the chance to reunite with Cruz and add his pop to the lineup, as well as his veteran leadership in a clubhouse that will be without the recently retired Kyle Seager this season, the move could pay big dividends for a team that believes it is ever so close to snapping MLB’s longest postseason drought.