02/21/09 7:19 AM EST
Twins eye deal with reliever Cruz
Reliever could be acquired in sign-and-trade deal with Arizona
By Ed Eagle / MLB.com
According to a report on the Web site of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins have made a contract offer to the right-hander as part of a potential sign-and-trade deal with the D-backs, Cruz's most recent team. Any agreement would be invalidated if a trade is not complete within 48 hours.
Cruz, earned more than $1.9 million last season while going 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA in 57 appearances with Arizona. As a Type A free agent, any team that signs Cruz would have to give the D-backs its 2009 No. 1 Draft pick -- unless that pick falls in the top 16, in which case that team would give up its second-round pick. The D-backs would also get a pick in the compensation round between the first and second rounds.
However, if the Twins have an agreement with Cruz in place, the D-backs could sign the reliever to a contract at that price and deal him to Minnesota for a player or players rather than Draft choices.
"Obviously, it's tricky," Arizona general manager Josh Byrnes said Monday. "[Another team] would have to work out a deal with someone else and then we would have to get back in player value something that we feel is close to the respective picks."
Cruz, 30, has gone 29-31 with a 4.00 ERA and one save in 297 appearances over eight big league seasons with the Cubs, Braves, A's and Diamondbacks.
Cruz could be the second significant addition of the weekend for the Twins, who have also reportedly signed free-agent third baseman Joe Crede .
Ed Eagle is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.