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Quick Notes: Washington Nationals To Decline Mutual Option With Nelson Cruz
The Washington Nationals are expected to decline their half of a $16MM mutual option with righty slugger Nelson Cruz for the 2023 season instead of paying him a $3MM buyout on the option.
Talk Nats reports [tweet link] that the Washington Nationals are expected to decline their half of a $16MM mutual option with righty slugger Nelson Cruz for the 2023 season instead of paying him a $3MM buyout on the option. Additionally, Cruz, who had been reported to be undergoing eye surgery sometime this month, underwent the procedure this past week.
Cruz hit just .234/.313/.337 in 507 plate appearances during the 2022 season, which was his first below-average offensive season by the measure of wRC+ since his age-26 seasons back in 2007. Given his age (he turned 42 this past July) and down year in 2022, it’s fair to question what sort of market he might find for his services this offseason, particularly given his inability to play the field at this stage in his career.
Cruz received $18MM in guarantee money when he signed with the Nationals during the 2022 offseason. The Nationals were hoping he would have a good enough year to either be part of the team or become a trade piece during the trade deadline for teams that were looking for a veteran bat at the DH position. A reunion with either the Milwaukee Brewers or the Texas Rangers this offseason could make some sense.