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The Tampa Bay Rays appear to be the first team to make a big deal before MLB’s trade deadline.
As first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Rays are finalizing a trade to take over outfielder Nelson Cruz from the Minnesota Twins.
It wasn’t immediately clear what the Rays were sending to Minnesota in exchange for Cruz.
The 41-year-old Cruz has long been one of the game’s best sluggers and has remained so despite the struggles of the Twins. Cruz has 19 home runs in the season and was named All-Star for the seventh time in his career. The veteran outfielder is on a one-year contract, so the Rays are essentially hiring him for the rest of the season.
While the Twins struggled, Cruz attracted widespread interest from across the league before the July 31 deadline. The Rays, who are just one game behind Boston for first place in the AL East, are the ones who won the race and gave themselves a big head start for the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs.
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