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Nelson Cruz signs one-year, $8 million deal with Orioles

The defensively-challenged outfielder seems better off in the American League.

Ronald Martinez

The Baltimore Orioles have signed Nelson Cruz to a one-year, $8 million deal, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes. In doing so, Baltimore has surrendered the 55th overall pick in the 2014 amateur draft, as Cruz declined a qualifying offer from his former team, the Texas Rangers.

Though the Mets entered the offseason in need of outfielders, Cruz never seemed like a fit for the team. Cruz struggled defensively in the outfield over the last three years according to DRS and UZR. Neither metric is perfect, but the larger the sample, the more likely the data is accurate. In an ideal world, Cruz is a designated hitter playing in a hitter's park, and it seems he can slot right into that role with the Orioles.

On top of the defensive woes, Cruz's stats over the past few years might have been inflated by the Ballpark in Arlington. His career league- and park-adjusted 114 wRC+ is a touch below Lucas Duda's 115 and a bit above Ike Davis's 112. He has a longer track record of hitting home runs, but he hasn't exactly been a superstar hitter.