Orioles finalize deal with Cruz

The Sports NetworkFebruary 24, 2014 

Sarasota, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Orioles officially signed outfielder Nelson Cruz to a one-year contract Monday, with the 2013 All-Star to be introduced to the media during a press conference on Tuesday.

Multiple reports previously indicated that Cruz agreed to an $8 million deal with the Orioles on Saturday. The 33-year-old slugger had turned down a $14.1 million qualifying offer from his former team, the Texas Rangers, during the offseason.

Cruz, one of only 13 players to hit at least 20 home runs in each of the last five seasons, had 27 homers and 76 RBI while batting .276 in just 109 games with the Rangers in 2013. The nine-year veteran was forced to serve a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal before returning for Texas' loss to Tampa Bay in AL Wild Card Game.

A two-time All-Star, Cruz has also performed well in postseason play, owning a .278 average with 14 homers in 34 career playoff games and earning MVP honors in Texas' 2011 AL Championship Series win over Detroit.

In 804 career regular-season contests, Cruz has hit .268 with 157 homers and 489 RBI.

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