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Insider

Cruz a good fit with Orioles

2/22/2014
Outfielder Nelson Cruz signed a 1-year, $8 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Once the Orioles signed Ubaldo Jimenez -- forfeiting their first-round pick -- signing another free agent requiring compensation made a lot more sense, as the value of the next pick they'd have to give up is much lower. Nelson Cruz's one-year, $8 million deal reflects that cost but also the questions about his PED usage and his negative defensive value.

He's a solid fit for Baltimore, however, as the team had no real DH option on the roster, just several part-time players from whom they could have cobbled together a decent platoon. Cruz is better than any of those individual options, a destroyer of southpaws who hits right-handed pitching for enough power to keep him in the lineup every day, although spelling him against the best righties wouldn't be a bad strategy.