The Miami Marlins have had their fair share of injuries this season, and the roster has been in a state of flux it seems all year. The biggest hole in the lineup seems to be in the middle and the Marlins have filled it in decently, but could use some star power in the middle to support the other players. The Marlins also have a notoriously low budget and Nelson Cruz fits the bill.
You might say outright that Cruz is having a horrible season and we should want nothing to do with him but he has some serious power that could be used on the Marlins. Cruz is only a few years removed from a 32 home run 86 RBI season, and the vibe could be just the cure for Cruz' 2023 doldrums. In 143 at-bats Cruz is hitting .245 with 5 home runs and 23 RBI and that would put him as the sixth ranked Marlin currently in RBI, and if he had the same at-bats as the average starter, he would be close to 2nd place. The San Diego Padres DFA'd him, so now he is available for any suitor.
The Miami Marlins clubhouse and vibe are just different this year and a veteran like Cruz could soak in the atmosphere and revive his powerful past hitting and in return pump the Marlins lineup to the next level. In my mind this is a no brainer and I would sign him right now, as they are thin with injuries and it could only help their depth.
The worst case scenario is that Nelson Cruz 2023 stays Nelson Cruz 2023 and his 3.3% home run rate continues, which still would land him around a 20-25 home run season average. That average right now would put him around the same level as most of the current Marlins lineup power hitters. This is not a loss for the Marlins in my mind, and he signed for one million for one year with the Padres.
Would you pay $1 million to a player to hit 12-15 home runs for the rest of the season at worst? I would and I think Kim Ng should. Cruz would be an easy DH fit and could potentially play some right field and maybe first base. This could allow the Marlins to trade Cooper for some other position players to further bolster their lineup.