Padres sign DH Nelson Cruz to one-year contract

January 23rd, 2023

SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres have signed seven-time All-Star Nelson Cruz to a one-year contract, President of Baseball Operations and General Manager A.J. Preller announced today.

Cruz, 42, batted .234 (105-for-448) in 124 games for the Washington Nationals as the club’s designated hitter in 2022. He recorded a team-leading 64 RBI and posted 16 doubles, 10 home runs, 50 runs scored, and 49 walks. On July 20, 2022, the World Baseball Classic named Cruz the general manager of the 2023 Dominican Republic team, making him the first active player in the tournament’s history to be named a general manager. Cruz recorded the 2,000th hit of his Major League career against the Padres on August 30th with a single in the eighth inning off Adrian Morejon, and he will reunite with former teammates Manny Machado (2014 with Baltimore) and Juan Soto (2022 with Washington).

Over 18 Major League seasons, the four-time Silver Slugger Award winner and 2021 Roberto Clemente Award recipient has posted a .274 average (2,018-for-7,358) with a .344 OBP, .515 SLG, 367 doubles, 14 triples, 459 home runs, 1,302 RBI, 1,081 runs scored, and 732 walks in 2,006 career games between the Milwaukee Brewers (2005), Texas Rangers (2006-13), Baltimore Orioles (2014), Seattle Mariners (2015-18), Minnesota Twins (2019-21), Tampa Bay Rays (2021), and Nationals (2022). Since turning 30 on July 1, 2010, Cruz has hit 394 home runs, the 5th most in MLB history of any player since they turned 30, trailing just Barry Bonds (509), Babe Ruth (430), Rafael Palmeiro (414), and Hank Aaron (413). His 459 home runs are second most among all active players, trailing just Miguel Cabrera (507 HR), and his 2,006 career games played are third most among active players behind Cabrera (2,699 games) and Robinson Canó (2,267 games). The two-time Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award winner (2017 & ’19) has the third-most home runs (245) all-time as a DH, behind only David Ortiz (485) and Frank Thomas (269). A career .274 hitter (1,036-for-3,776) as a DH, he was named to the inaugural 2019 All-MLB First Team and the 2020 All-MLB Second Team as the DH. The 2011 ALCS MVP winner with the Rangers has made seven-career Postseason runs, including two World Series appearances (2010-11 with Texas). In 50 games between 12 Postseason series, he posted a .278 (52-for-187) average with a .348 OBP, .631 SLG, .979 OPS, 12 doubles, 18 home runs, and 38 RBI.