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Nelson Cruz likely to accept suspension, leaves Biogenesis-tainted agents

Aug 5, 2013, 11:50 AM EDT

Nelson Cruz AP

The word Wednesday was that Nelson Cruz might appeal the anticipated 50-game ban handed coming down in the Biogenesis scandal, but Jon Heyman reports that Cruz has decided to serve his time now in anticipation of becoming a free agent this winter.

It was also disclosed that Cruz is leaving the ACES agency, which represented several players expected to get Biogenesis suspensions. Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan says he’s signing on with Adam Katz.

By serving the suspension now, Cruz, who is hitting .269/.330/.511 with 27 homers and 76 RBI, will certainly be a more attractive free agent this winter. Of course, teams will still be wondering how much of his bounce-back season this year was due to PED usage, even though his acquisition of Biogenesis drugs took place last year, when his rate numbers were the worst they’ve been since 2007. Or perhaps he’s simply been cheating all along.

Cruz is also bailing on the Rangers when they dearly need his bat in the middle of the order. Speculation last week was that they felt a less urgent need to trade for an outfielder because they thought he was going to appeal the suspension. The Rangers may welcome Cruz back for the postseason anyway, should they get there, but they probably will opt to go in a different direction this winter.

As for the agent switch, well, it’s no wonder than Cruz wanted to get away from ACES, which formerly represented Melky Cabrera when he was suspended and also handles Biogenesis-connected players Jhonny Peralta, Gio Gonzalez, Jesus Montero. Fautino De Los Santos and Cesar Puello, according to MLBTR’s agency database. The Brooklyn-based agency, run by brothers Seth and Sam Levinson, is or at least was being investigated by MLB for links to Biogenesis.

Update: The new names revealed in the Biogenesis scandal today — Antonio Bastardo, Sergio Escalona and Jordany Valdespin — are all ACES clients as well.

  1. bigharold - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Everybody assumes that A-Rod was instrumental in pointing players towards Biogenesis. What’s the chances that agent, or a least a few of them, are the real focal point??

    I realize that is merely baseless speculation boarding on slander but, hey, .. that doesn’t stop Bill Madden or the Daily News.

    • missthemexpos - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:11 PM

      An agent doing something that may be unethical, say it isn’t so.

  2. DonkeyStick - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    MLB has so dropped the ball. If they wanted to clean up the sport they would have announced the suspensions LAST MONTH. They want to drag this thing out and keep pushing back announce dates and times. A JOKE. If you want to get rid of the cheaters do what they did to Pete Rose. ONE STRIKE YOU’RE DONE. A joke to drag this thing our so long.

    • cohnjusack - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      Why, it’s almost as if they want to have their facts straight, have discussions with all the players and be as thorough as possible in their investigations.

      Outrageous!

      • historiophiliac - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:52 PM

        Dude, you are reasoning with a DonkeyStick.

  3. Old Gator - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Tic tic tic tic tic……..

    • Senor Cardgage - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      I think you mean “tsk”.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      The angst! The pressure is getting to me. I have to go out and find a beaver tail. Probably will not be back until after 5. I will probably miss the history shattering moment. In the future when I am asked, “Where were you when Arod was banned?”, I will have a tale to tell.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      Argh! It’s like peeing on the stick and waiting, WAITING, WAITING for the results!

  4. El Bravo - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    BETTER CALL SAUL!

    • aceshigh11 - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      SAUL…ROSENBERG!!

      MY EYES IS GOING CRAZY! I LOST MY SHOES AND MY GLASSES!

  5. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    I never really bought into the idea that A-Rod was pushing drugs on other players. I mean, really what’s his motive there? Now, an agency? That makes more sense. At least there, they have reason to profit off the use of steroids.

    • bigharold - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      I don’t think that MLB’s contention is that A-Rod pushed PEDs in the conventional sense. It’s that he steered players towards Biogenesis in an effort to aide them to avoid detection from screenings. There certainly was no profit motive.

      Frankly, I think that’s a stretch. If A-Rod was engaged in the behavior that MLB alleges, I would think he wouldn’t discuss it with anyone let alone have a large circle of players know what he’s doing. It would be nice to know what the evidence is since A-Rod has never failed a screening and all they are going on is evidence provided by Biogenessis. I guess I”l have to wait for MLB to leak it to the Daily News.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        My thoughts exactly. If A-Rod is as selfish and terrible of a person as reports would like to suggest, what exactly is his motive here? To be a nice guy and help others cheat? Why would such a person go out of his way and put himself in such a dangerous position with no obvious benefit to himself? What piece of the story are we missing here? His guilt of using PED’s I have no doubt, but the rest just feels trumped up in an effort to get him out of baseball and to erase the worst contract handed out in MLB history. At least that’s how things look until further evidence is revealed. (That is, if that ever happens.)

  6. yahmule - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    I think all the people trying to pressure Cruz into appealing and playing out the season had the opposite effect on his decision.

  7. beefytrout - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    (please don’t re-sign with Texas… please don’t re-sign with Texas… please don’t re-sign with Texas… please don’t re-sign with Texas… )

  8. scotttheskeptic - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    I never understood the concept of Cruz appealing a 50-gamer. If he loses at arbitration, he goes into free agency needing a job just so the game count can continue. If he accepts, he is available Opening Day 2014. Seems a no-brainer.

    • Senor Cardgage - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Accepting the suspension now is the epitome of selfishness—bailing on a contending team at the time when they need him most, just so he can get his money next year playing for who knows who. Never mind how selfish it was to cheat in the first place.

    • mlblogsbig3bosox - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      It was assumed that if he appealed it was because the Rangers would promise re-signing him for a couple of years. So he would help them out this year and then take the 50 game suspension at the start of next season with a new contract already signed.

      • artisan3m - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        There are other factors at play. Who says Cruz want to play elsewhere next year? He will be 34 and a lengthy deal is not likely, probably three at the maximum. He is making just north of $10-mil and probably won’t get much if any more on a new team. If the Rangers offer him 3 at $40-mil, he can appeal, play for a pennant contender this season, sit the first 50 games next year (if he loses arbitration), and be back in the lineup before the ASG. That’s if he wants to remain a Ranger and there is nothing that suggests that is not the case. The question is ~ do the Rangers want him? (crickets…..crickets)

  9. paperlions - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    I doubt MLB teams will wonder how much of Cruz’s performance is PED-based….I have a feeling that teams have a far better handle on the effects of PEDs on particular skill sets and production that the fans/media do.

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