The Houston Astros missed out on a big opportunity to strengthen their lineup when it was reported Thursday that free-agent designated hitter Nelson Cruz signed a deal with the Minnesota Twins.
While the Astros improved their outfield with the signing of Michael Brantley, the team is still in need of a designated hitter now that Evan Gattis is a free agent.
There weren't many designated hitters available via free agency this offseason. Cruz was by far the best. He would've helped further lengthen a lineup that already includes great hitters like Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and George Springer.
Considering the details of Cruz's contract, it's even more surprising the Astros couldn't get a deal done with the slugger. These are some pretty weak financials.
Nelson Cruz’s deal with the Minnesota Twins is Worth $14 million guaranteed in the first year, source tells Yahoo Sports. There is a $12 million club option with a $300K buyout. My main man @Enrique_Rojas1 had the financials first.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 27, 2018
With Cruz off the market, the Astros should probably consider re-signing Gattis. While he may not hit for average, he's still a very dangerous power threat. Last season, he hit 25 homers and had 78 RBI, but had a .226 average and .284 on-base percentage. Another great option for a DH could be Wilmer Flores, who is a solid hitter, but defensively challenged.
Whatever the case, the Astros missed their golden opportunity and it was clearly a big mistake.