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September 23, 2013

Rangers GM Jon Daniels weighs in on Nelson Cruz situation

ARLINGTON -- Nelson Cruz is on the suspended list and spending his days at the Texas Rangers’ facility in Surprise, Ariz., working out and playing in instructional-league games.

He hopes to be welcomed back should the Rangers make the wild-card round or play in a potential Game 163. In the meantime, though, it’s tough for Cruz to watch the Rangers struggle down the stretch.

“It’s so hard, you can’t explain it in words,” Cruz said in a USA Today story. “There’s nothing worse than seeing your teammates battle knowing you can’t help. I’m not even on the bench or even around. I try to text them and stuff and try to motivate the best I can. There’s nothing else I can do.”

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and manager Ron Washington both wouldn’t speculate as to whether Cruz would join the team should they make the postseason or a Game 163, although it seems inevitable with the lack of power in the lineup and lack of designated hitter options.

“We haven’t made a call,” Daniels said. “I don’t think it’s in anybody’s interest to start talking about playoff rosters. We’ve got to go out and win tonight and go from there.”

Cruz went on to say in the story that he accepted a 50-game suspension this year because MLB said it would seek a 100-game ban if he appealed. The appeals process, however, would have dragged into the off-season and allowed Cruz to remain a part of the team.

Cruz, though, will be a free agent after the season and a 100-game ban would significantly diminish his market value.

Asked if Cruz’s decision would impact how the Rangers view him on the free agent market, Daniels said: “We’ve got to beat the Astros tonight, and then tomorrow night. We’re not talking about playoff rosters or 2014 rosters or anything like that.”

-- Drew Davison

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