Dodgers could land star slugger if National League gets DH for 2021

Thomas Carannante
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 13: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates a home run against the Cleveland Indians on September 13, 2020 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 13: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates a home run against the Cleveland Indians on September 13, 2020 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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The Los Angeles Dodgers are the reigning World Series champs and still figure to be the NL favorites heading into 2021 despite the Justin Turner situation still being unresolved.

However, that seems to be atop the team’s list of priorities, so we can assume it’ll happen before spring training.

But can the Dodgers get even better than that? Returning everyone with the exception of a few platoon/utility guys, the Dodgers will also be getting David Price for a full season (hopefully) and will see an improved bullpen taking over.

And if MLB introduces the DH role to the NL, forget about it.

According to the latest buzz, both the Dodgers and Nelson Cruz have eyes on one another as the negotiations continue to materialize. It’s not a foregone conclusion, but there appears to be mutual interest between the two sides in the event the rule change is instituted for 2021.

Cruz, despite being 40 years old, is still a bonafide star. He finished sixth in the MVP voting this past season and has averaged 40 home runs per season from 2014-2019 (he hit 16 across 53 games in the shortened 2020 campaign). He’s shown absolutely no signs of slowing down and would only stand to further benefit in a padded Dodgers lineup.

If he was doing this kind of damage with teams like the Orioles, Mariners and Twins, just imagine how many home runs he’s going to demolish at Dodger Stadium. Seriously, how far will his blasts go at Coors Field? How many times will he hit the Western Metal Supply Co. at Petco Park? This would be the definition of unfair.

Per Dan Hayes of The Athletic, Cruz is “intrigued” by the Dodgers if the NL adopts the DH role, which feels about a self-explanatory as it gets. “Oh, there could be a job opening on the best team in baseball. Yeah, I think that could interest me in some capacity.”

Cruz would be a colossal upgrade over the guys LA lost this offseason (Joc Pederson, Kiké Hernandez), and hey, even Turner if he doesn’t come back! The only issue is that Cruz doesn’t play the field, but we’re sure LA could make do by throwing a decent glove at third base and taking 35-40 home runs from Cruz in the DH spot. Whatever happens, it feels like a win-win for the champs.

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