Rangers OF Nelson Cruz missed the final 50 games of the regular season after being suspended for a PED violation related to the Biogenesis scandal.
In 109 games for the Rangers in 2013, Cruz, 33, hit .266 with a .327 OBP, 27 home runs and 76 RBI with 109 strikeouts.
He is eligible to be a free agent at the end of this season, during which he earned $10.5 million.
The Mets originally signed Cruz to his first professional contract in 1998, but dealt him to the A’s in 2000 for Jorge Velandia.
Michael Baron, Contributor
Cruz is a very delicate case. Yes, he hits for power, something the Mets desperately need for their roster. He also comes with postseason experience and is a proven clutch performer in big spots. He also hits the ball consistently up the middle or to the opposite field, an indication he recognizes pitches well, takes what he is given and doesn’t try and do much at the plate.
However, there are problems with Cruz. There’s the question of how PEDs impacted his recent performance. He’s 33, and about to hit the decline phase of his career, if it hasn’t happened already. He is a notch above Lucas Duda defensively in the outfield, and that’s a concern considering he struggles in the smaller confines of Rangers Ballpark. Those issues could be magnified at Citi Field and the rest of the big ballparks in the National League East. He also strikes out a lot, and the Mets were already fourth in the big leagues in strikeouts in 2013. Lastly, his power number are likely to suffer no matter what at Citi Field. In the end, the Mets would have to seriously investigate and answer all of these deficiencies in advance of a contract with Cruz.