Nelson Cruz informed the Texas Rangers on Monday that he will accept his 50-game suspension, a move that stunned Rangers’ officials, a person with direct knowledge of the decision told USA TODAY Sports.
Rangers officials were blindsided by the news, only learning of Cruz’s decision Monday morning, hours before MLB was set to announce its discipline in the Biogenesis matter. They struggled to land a potential replacement for Cruz at the July 31 non-waivers trade deadline, and now will attempt to add depth by making a waiver trade before Aug. 31, a process that guarantees little.
The news of Cruz accepting the suspension and switching agents was first reported by CBS Sports.
Cruz has decided not to appeal MLB’s punishment for his links to the Biogenesis clinic and will miss the 50 games the playoff-contending Rangers have remaining in the regular season, the person said on condition of anonymity because the punishments have not been made public
Cruz would be eligible for the postseason, but what could be most significant for him personally is that, at age 33, he becomes a free agent after the season. With his suspension behind him, a right fielder who ranks among the American League Top 5 in home runs and RBI should attract a significant contract.
Toronto Melky Cabrera was suspended 50 games during last season while leading the National League in batting for the San Francisco Giants. He still got a two-year, $16 million contract from the Blue Jays last winter.
Any deal Cruz gets will be negotiated by new representatives. He switched Monday from ACES, the agency headed by brothers Seth and Sam Levinson, to Adam Katz from the Wasserman Group, the person said.
ACES also represents Cabrera plus other players linked to the Biogenesis scandal, including Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez and Seattle Mariners catcher Jesus Montero.