MLB Free Agency Rumors: Nelson Cruz Signing With Dodgers Or Padres

UPDATE (March 13, 8 p.m. PT): Nelson Cruz signed a one-year contract with the Washington Nationals, and the deal includes a mutual option for 2023.

The arrival of a universal designated hitter with a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) has expanded the free agency market key veterans, including Nelson Cruz and Albert Pujols.

Both players are toward the end of their respective careers but still offer a threat at the plate that could be enticing for National League clubs. As such, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been among the teams connected to Cruz.

The Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres were also mentioned as potential landing spots for the 41-year-old.

According to Mark Feinsand of, Cruz is expected to make a free agency decision between the Dodgers and Padres:

While the Dodgers and Padres appear to be involved for Cruz, he is also considering the Atlanta Braves, Brewers and Washington Nationals, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network:

The Dodgers signing Cruz would be a shift in philosophy as the team used the DH spot in 2020 to rotate everyday starters through as a means of providing rest. Manager Dave Roberts said on Friday he anticipated having the same approach moving forward.

“I was talking to Andrew (Friedman) about it, and I know we’re aligned in the fact that we could pivot and get that everyday DH but I think for the way we view things in a season, and our roster we have right now, to use that as a revolving position in the batting order to facilitate days off and maybe augment a matchup that we like that night,” Roberts said.

“That’s kind of how we see it. With the DH, it certainly changes the landscape, but I think for us, defending but using that for a revolving position is the way we look at it.”

Cruz spent the 2021 season with the Minnesota Twins and Rays, was named to the All-Star Game and hit a combined .265/.334/.497 with 21 doubles, 32 home runs and 86 RBI over 140 games.

Dodgers signing Hanser Alberto

With a focus on improving their bench, the Dodgers reportedly are due to sign Hanser Alberto to a one-year contract with a team option for 2023.

Alberto has appeared in parts of six Major League seasons since making his debut with the Texas Rangers in 2015. Alberto remained with the Rangers organization until getting claimed off waivers by the New York Yankees in November 2018.

Alberto hit .270/.291/.402 with 20 doubles, two home runs and 24 RBI over 103 games with the Kansas City Royals last season.

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!