Nelson Cruz Suspended; Will Not Appeal


Today Major League Baseball handed out suspensions stemming from alleged illegal activity at a small Miami clinic.

Among the names, as I’m sure you are more than aware at this stage of the witch-hunt, is Nelson Cruz, who released this statement earlier today:

“I have been notified by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball that I have been suspended for 50 games for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement,” Cruz said in a statement. “I have decided to accept this suspension and not exercise my rights under the Basic Agreement to appeal. From November, 2011 to January, 2012, I was seriously ill with a gastrointestinal infection, helicobacter pylori, which went undiagnosed for over a month. By the time I was properly diagnosed and treated, I had lost 40 pounds. Just weeks before I was to report to spring training in 2012, I was unsure whether I would be physically able to play. Faced with this situation, I made an error in judgment that I deeply regret, and I accept full responsibility for that error. I should have handled the situation differently, and my illness was no excuse. I am thankful for the unwavering support of my family, friends, and teammates during this difficult time. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Rangers organization, my teammates, and the great Rangers’ fans, and I am grateful for the opportunity to rejoin the team for the playoffs.”

Also, there’s this rather intriguing nugget:

Take it for what it’s worth since it’s Jim Bowden, because in Nightengale’s most recent article, he makes no direct mentions about Texas’ feelings other than “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.”

I wrote recently about what the trade deadline — or lack of trade deadline — actually said about Nelson Cruz. My general impression was that, since (a) no one really knew anything, and (b) the Rangers are in the midst of a pennant chase, that Nellie would appeal the suspension, thus being able to play out the remainder of the 2013 season.

Under this scenario, however, Cruz would still likely miss the first 50 games in 2014, and for that sacrifice the Rangers would compensate him with a guaranteed contract after the 2013 season.

All conjecture aside, Nelson opted for the path of least resistance, as he will take a 50-game dive to conclude this year such that his value on the free agent market won’t depreciate any more than it, in theory, already has.

Today’s decision not to appeal will actually hurt the Rangers significantly more than it will Nelson Cruz, but this is a slugger about to enter his decline years, and I’m not one to pass judgement on a guy who wants to earn as much money as he possibly can.

  • http://realsportsfan.tumblr.com RealSportsFan

    He was in a tough spot. No matter what he decided, there would be consequences. Even if he appealed, there is no guarantee that he would get to play the rest of the season or into the playoffs. I believe the appeals process takes 20 days then the arbitrator has UP TO 25 days to make a decision. It would have been a huge gamble on his part not to just accept the penalty.

    • Ben Dieter

      I heard today on the radio that MLB said if any player appealed that a decision would be made before September 1. So if he would have appealed, he would have missed the post season, assuming the Rangers make it. It was a tough spot indeed, but he put himself there. I still like Cruz.

    • Eric Reining

      I agree, it is a tough spot. And no one really knows how the arbitration process would have worked out.