Shortly before opening a four-game series at the Cleveland Indians, the Rays announced they received Cruz and minor leaguer Calvin Faucher from the Twins in exchange for minor league right-handers Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman.
"It's a tough one," Cruz said of the trade. "I guess it's a new chapter, and I will embrace it the way I embrace everything in my life to go help the Tampa Bay Rays win a championship."
With a week until the MLB trade deadline and an outside shot at making the playoffs, the Twins opted to move Cruz to begin building toward the future. Minnesota entered Thursday with a 41-55 record.
Cruz will add needed power to the Rays' lineup and should help the club against left-handed pitching. Tampa Bay is hitting just .226 against lefties this season.
In 85 games this year, Cruz has a .294 batting average with 19 home runs and 50 RBIs. He finished with 76 homers and a .984 OPS over 258 games in Minnesota.
The 41-year-old Cruz is a seven-time All-Star selection with 436 career home runs and 1,202 RBIs. He also has 17 homers and 37 RBIs over 46 postseason games.
Ryan, 25, had a 3.63 ERA with 75 strikeouts over 57 innings for Triple-A Durham. He will pitch for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
The 24-year-old Strotman posted a 3.39 ERA with 62 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings with Durham.
Faucher, 25, had a 7.04 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings for Double-A Wichita.