David Ortiz apparently tried his darndest this past offseason to recruit Nelson Cruz to join the Boston Red Sox. And no, this isn’t a reprint of a story from last July.
Speaking with reporters before Tuesday’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Cincinnati, Cruz detailed how, for a second winter in a row, Ortiz made a push to bring him to Boston.
“Yes, he did. It’s huge,” the Seattle Mariners slugger said, via WEEI.com. “I mean, he doesn’t make the calls. I guess they listen to him because he’s been with the team for so long and he’s the face of the team, but at the same time it is the (general manager’s) and owners’ call.”
“My agent also tried, but they had their plans,” Cruz added.
Cruz was a free agent each of the last two offseasons, signing a one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles in February 2014 then inking a four-year deal with the Mariners in December. The 35-year-old has mashed for the M’s this season, posting a .308/.373/.546 slash line with 21 home runs and 53 RBIs to earn a starting nod for the American League All-Stars.
There’s no word on specifics of the negotiations between Cruz and the Sox, but Ben Cherington & Co. might have been wise to bring in the 11-year veteran solely to avoid having to face him. The outfielder/designated hitter historically has feasted on Boston pitching, boasting a 1.048 career OPS with 18 doubles, 16 homers and 49 RBIs in 264 plate appearances.
Thumbnail photo via Jennifer Buchanan/USA TODAY Sports Images