Orioles may or may not have made offer to Nelson Cruz

Stephen Dunn

There are conflicting reports on whether the Orioles have made Cruz an offer, or if they're even interested at all

There are conflicting reports on whether the Baltimore Orioles have made an offer to Nelson Cruz or not.

What is clear is that nothing is clear. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman includes Cruz in the "others" who have received an offer from the Orioles, yet admits "it isn't clear how involved the Orioles are."

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To sign the 33-year-old slugger, the Orioles would have to give up their first-round pick, the 17th overall pick in the draft, something they've been reluctant to do. Still, Cruz is coming off his best season since 2010 (judging by OPS), having recorded a .266/.327/.506 slash line in a season shortened by his suspension due to involvement with the Biogenesis scandal.

The market has shown that a PED suspension isn't much of a deterrent, though, with Jhonny Peralta inking a four-year, $53 million contract with St. Louis earlier this offseason. In Heyman's report, he relays word that Cruz turned down a $75 million offer from Seattle, though that remains unconfirmed.

It's not obvious that anyone else would be willing to commit that type of money to Cruz, who is generally seen as a poor defender in the outfield, and the Orioles' interest is already being reported as "exaggerated," per MASN's Roch Kubatko. Even so, it's hard to believe that Cruz will last too long in a market so starved for power production. His former team, the Texas Rangers, is still a possibility.

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