CM – Rays’ deal with Nelson Cruz caught the attention of the Yankees


BOSTON – The Rays’ takeover of Nelson Cruz from the twins on Thursday caught the attention of Aaron Boone.

« He’s a demolition machine, » said the Yankees manager of the bat the Rays ( together with a minor leaguer) in exchange for a couple of interested parties. “He’s still a great hitter, of course. He’s over 40 now and he’s still as good as ever. ”

Cruz, who turned 41 this month, hit his 20th homer of the season on Friday – and the first with the Rays.

He joined a Tampa Bay team one game behind the Red Sox in first place. The Yankees will head to St. Petersburg, Florida, for an important three-game series on Tuesday. « It makes them so much more potent and dangerous, certainly offensively, » Boone said ahead of the 6-2 loss Yankees versus the Red Sox. “It gives them a slightly different element with a deadly right-handed power bat. He is an elite offensive player. Add that to a really good team and it makes them even tougher. ”

They’ve been looking for outfield help for most of the season – especially since Aaron Hicks was lost for the year after his left wrist surgery.

This has led them to rely heavily on Brett Gardner, and due to the absence of Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar and others, they have had to call up an army of outfielders from Triple-A Scranton / Wilkes-Barre.

Joel Sherman of the Post reported that one of the Rangers’ top scouts spotted some Yankees prospects in the High-A Hudson Valley Tuesday, and the Yankees have long had an interest in Texas star Joey Gallo. </ The Marlins Starling Marte is also available and of interest to the Yankees. Unlike Kepler and Gallo, however, Marte is right-handed and the Yankees are already leaning heavily in that direction.

Hal Steinbrenner appears determined to stay below the luxury tax limit of $ 210 million, and the Yankees are only a few million under that mark.

When asked if he believed the Yankees would take a step before the deadline, Boone said on Friday, “We’ll see. I know [General Manager Brian Cashman] and these people [in the front office] are having these conversations with everyone around the clock. We’ll see where the next few days lead us. « 

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