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Outfielder Nelson Cruz is still committed to playing for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Tuesday.
Daniels said he didn't have any more information on when Major League Baseball might complete its investigation or when the club might know whether Cruz is suspended after his name -- and a handful of other players' -- surfaced in a Miami New Times report on an anti-aging clinic in Miami that was allegedly selling performance-enhancing drugs.
Daniels said at this point he also expects Cruz to report to camp on time and that he's the club's right fielder until further notice. Still, the team will look at contingency plans.
"Forgetting about the situation in Miami, but for the sake of injury, we've got to be prepared there," Daniels said in a conference call with reporters. "We've got a number of guys coming to camp, and we told all of them, whatever your position was in the minor leagues, you're a baseball player now. Whether you're a middle infielder, you may play in the corner, or if you're a third baseman in the case of Mike Olt, you might play some outfield. You want to make the big league club, versatility is a plus."
Cruz has not spoken publicly since the story broke. Cruz's name was found in notes from the clinic given to the newspaper. His name appears with the line that he had purchased $4,000 worth of "product." Cruz's law firm (not his agents) issued this statement: "We are aware of certain allegations and inferences. To the extent these allegations and inferences refer to Nelson, they are denied."
Cruz, whose contract expires after the 2013 season, hit .260 with 24 homers and 90 RBIs in 159 games. It was the most games he's played in a full season after making five separate trips to the disabled list in 2010 and 2011.