Report: Padres made serious push for Cruz before Rays trade
San Diego made a significant effort to nab Cruz before Tampa Bay landed him, sources told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, who adds the Rays obtained the slugger eight days before the trade deadline because they felt pressure from the Southern California club.
The Padres were reportedly interested in Cruz as a powerful bench bat, but team officials also inquired about his past practices of taking groundballs at first and second base, according to Rosenthal's sources.
The Dominican native has also played 970 games in the outfield throughout his career, although he hasn't done so since 2018.
Cruz is one of the league's top power hitters and has 436 career homers to his credit, including 19 this season.
Tampa Bay acquired the 41-year-old from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday in a four-player deal, which saw prized pitching prospects Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman head to Minnesota.