And there we go, we've got our first big name on the move before the trade deadline in a few days. And no, I don't count Joc Peterson has a big name, sorry. Jeff Passan is reporting that slugger Nelson Cruz is going from the underperforming Minnesota Twins to the Tampa Bay Rays as they battle with the Red Sox for the top spot in the AL. Cruz will for sure help keep them in the division race because he hits roughly 56 home runs a season. A few minor league pitchers are also involved but Nelly is the big piece in the trade. He's strictly a DH with a lethal bat that any team would love to have for a playoff race. Cruz will be in there every single day too, no rest for Nelly, he'll be that DH every day. He can single handily win you games down the stretch. This is a team who was in the World Series last season getting much stronger and gearing up for another run. They're going to start scoring a ton more runs.
It really is a perfect fit for Cruz and the Rays. He gives them extra pop in their lineup that they are lacking, his deal isn't crippling to a team, and he's a rental. It makes a ton of sense and it looks like the Rays didn't want to risk losing him to another team looking for a bat and made a splash before anyone else could. They're 9th in the AL in homers at 117, Cruz will be a nice shot in the arm (wink wink) to a team that needs some more power. His 19 homers are already good for 2nd on the Rays and his .294 average is by far the highest. The Rays haven't really hit their stride yet but watch out now, Nelly could be the guy that starts their rally. He's going to be a huge difference maker for them down the stretch. Hell of a pickup by the guys down in Tampa, they keep doing it year after year.