The Seattle Mariners Officially Welcome Nelson Cruz to the Northwest


Nelson Cruz looks pretty darn good in Seattle Mariner blue. At 11 am on Thursday, he was welcomed to the organization by GM Jack Zduriencik and Lloyd McClendon, along with a number of media people.

There were a number of quotables from the press conference that get you excited about the coming season.

When asked about why he chose Seattle, Nelson Cruz started with a very simple response: “I’m here to win. That’s the right fit.”

Then, when Lloyd McClendon was asked about relinquishing number 23 to Nelson Cruz– who has worn the number throughout his career– Lloyd responded with the following:

Everyone was smiles as the presser carried on and the reality of Nelson Cruz as a Mariner continued to sink in. But the serious stuff wasn’t altogether ignored. Dave ‘Softy’ Mahler of KJR radio in Seattle asked Cruz a question regarding his link to BioGenesis and the suspension:

It is indeed behind Nelson Cruz now, as he has a 4 year, $56 million contract with a $1 million signing bonus.

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Cruz, 34, is expected to play the majority of his games at designated hitter, though GM Jack hasn’t ruled out playing time in the outfield. As Cruz said at the presser: “DH-ing is boring, but I understand my role.” In hearing that, I think it’s safe to think Cruz may be able to lobby his way into 30-50 games in the outfield over the course of the season. In fact, if the Mariners don’t pick up another outfielder– which they really ought to do– Cruz could end up seeing a 50-50 split much like he did in Baltimore with the Orioles last season when he led the league with 40 home runs and finished third with 108 RBI.

It’s exciting to have a boomstick in the middle of the Mariners lineup to pair with Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager. As it stands now, the Mariners have the meaty muscle in their lineup locked up through the next 4 season. Those are the same four seasons they have control of Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, Taijuan Walker, Roenis Elias, and most of the bullpen.

This team is loaded with young talent; with another bat or two to compliment the signing of slugger Nelson Cruz, this team can compete in the AL West AND in the playoffs.

Welcome to Seattle, Nelson Cruz. Mariners fans are looking forward to your home runs that averaged 406 feet last season. Boomstick indeed.