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Nationals, designated hitter Nelson Cruz agree to 1-year, $15M deal

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Veteran designated hitter Nelson Cruz, who was traded last season to the Tampa Bay Rays, will add some pop to the Washington Nationals lineup in 2022. File Photo by Steven J. Nesius/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/53ea3149a53b545970b83c9653c3fa36/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Veteran designated hitter Nelson Cruz, who was traded last season to the Tampa Bay Rays, will add some pop to the Washington Nationals lineup in 2022. File Photo by Steven J. Nesius/UPI | License Photo

March 14 (UPI) -- The Washington Nationals and veteran designated hitter Nelson Cruz agreed to a one-year contact for the 2022 season.

Sources told MLB.com, ESPN and The Athletic on Sunday that Cruz is due a $12 million salary in 2022 and another $3 million if the team does not exercise its option for next season. His mutual option year salary for 2023 is $16 million.

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Cruz confirmed the deal on social media. Nationals star Juan Soto also acknowledged the agreement with an Instagram story post.

"The boomstick team," Soto wrote.

Cruz, 41, hit .265 with 32 home runs and 86 RBIs in 140 games last season, which he split between the Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays. The seven-time All-Star spent the first 85 games of last season with the Twins, and was traded to the Rays in July.

Cruz has a career .277 batting average, with 449 home runs, in 17 seasons. He totaled at least 40 home runs in four separate seasons from 2014 through 2019.

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He also is the first full-time designated hitter to sign with a National League team since MLB included a universal designated hitter stipulation as part of its recent labor deal.

Nationals players reported for spring training Sunday in West Palm Beach, Fla. They are scheduled to face the Miami Marlins in their first spring training game Friday at their spring complex, The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

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