It was reported that the Baltimore Orioles agreed to an $8 million, one-year deal with free agent slugger Nelson Cruz, and price per head sportsbooks believe that the team made a very good move by signing the player.
According to a source, Cruz’s contract also includes $750,000 in incentives. Pay per head services found out that the player would become Baltimore’s main designated hitter if the deal is completed.
Price per head sportsbooks know that Cruz, 33-years-old, is one of several free agents whose signability was hurt this offseason because they turned down qualifying offers from their past teams, which means that a top draft pick would be lost by the club signing them.
But when they signed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, Baltimore surrendered their first-round pick earlier this week. Therefore, signing Cruz would only cost the Orioles a second-round pick – the 2014 draft’s 55th overall choice.
Baltimore previously lost a “competitive-balance pick” between the first and second rounds, because they included it the trade last July for pitcher Bud Norris with the Houston Astros.
Cruz was also linked to his former team the Texas Rangers, as well as the New York Mets and Seattle Mariners. Pay per head services found out that in the meantime, Baltimore were talking to both free agent first baseman Kendrys Morales and Cruz, but in recent days they focused on Cruz.
Price per head sportsbooks saw that last season the player batted .266 with 27 home runs and 76 RBIs in 109 games with the Rangers before serving a 50-game ban for his part in the Biogenesis scandal.
Earlier on Saturday, CBSSports.com reported that Cruz and the Orioles were close to making a deal.
Cruz, a two-time All-Star outfielder and a favorite with pay per head services, has 157 home runs in his career, and would boost an Orioles lineup that already has Manny Machado, Chris Davis, and Adam Jones.
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Price per head sportsbooks know that Cruz, who spent the last eight seasons with the Rangers, is one of the sport’s seven right-handed hitters who in each of the last five seasons were able to hit at least 20 home runs. The others are Alfonso Soriano, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Napoli, Matt Holliday, Hunter Pence, and Mark Reynolds.