RANGERS UPDATE: Cruz shocked name linked to PEDs
Feb. 15, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated Feb. 14, 2013 at 8:15 p.m.
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Texas Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz said Friday it was "shocking" and "depressing" to see his name came up in connection with a Florida clinic now at the center of Major League Baseball's latest drug investigation.
Cruz, however, said he could not shed any light on why his name is reportedly in the records of Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla. The Miami New Times reported last month that it obtained records detailing banned substances purchases by several players, including Cruz, the 2011 AL championship series MVP.
"I want to speak, and I want to talk, but my lawyer told me I cannot say anything right now," Cruz said. "I want to be honest, but this is currently under investigation by Major League Baseball, and I can't really make any comment on it. As soon as it is done, I will talk. I want to comment, but I can't, sorry."
Cruz said he has not yet met with any MLB investigators but would cooperate with them. Cruz, who is represented by Seth and Sam Levinson of ACEs, said he was contacted by his agents the day before the New Times article was published.
"It was shocking, really depressing," Cruz said. "It can really hurt you."
He acknowledged it could be difficult in spring training until there is a resolution to the investigation. He said he plans to play for the Dominican Republic next month in the World Baseball Classic.
Cruz hit .260 with 24 home runs, with career-highs 45 doubles and 90 RBIs in 159 games last season. He has hit at least 22 home runs the past four years.
"We're just taking it day-by-day," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "There's nothing much we can do really. We expect he's going to be our right fielder. If something comes up that impacts that, we'll deal with that at that point.
"Hopefully, the process speeds up and we get it out of the way and we focus on the year. I'm not overly concerned from a club's standpoint. It's an open investigation at this point. We're kind of in a wait-and-see mode, but we're going to support Nelly in the process."
Daniels met with Cruz before the team worked out Friday.
"I think he would generally like this to be a little further down the line," Daniels said. "I don't think he likes having a 'no comment.' I think he would like to be able address it a little bit more, but I understand why he can't."
The Rangers have had to address sticky issues the past few years. Late during the 2009 season, Washington offered to resign after admitting to using cocaine once and failing a drug test. Outfielder Josh Hamilton had a relapse with alcohol last year. Hamilton, the five-time All-Star and former AL MVP, is now with the Angels.
"We've been through a lot and we've dealt with some different things over the years," Daniels said. "You don't ever want to deal with these things, but they do come up. It's a reality of the game, society and the industry. We just have to let it play out."