Nelson Cruz is one of the many power bats available on the free agent market heading into the offseason.
Cruz signed a one-year contract with the Washington Nationals before the start of the 2022 season.
The contract contained a mutual option, which was ultimately not exercised.
Now his status for the 2023 season is uncertain.
However, according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the slugger will serve as the Dominican Republic’s manager in the World Baseball Classic and also plans to continue as an active player at the event in March.
Cruz recently underwent successful eye surgery to deal with inflammation.
Nelson Cruz will serve as the manager of the Dominican Republic and plans to continue as an active player in 2023 @WBCBaseball. Cruz, 42, recently underwent successful eye surgery to deal with inflammation. @MLBNetwork @MLB 🇩🇴
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 15, 2022
Cruz to play in the WBC
Cruz has yet to be signed to a new team this offseason, but it appears he’s set to play in 2023, at least in the Classic.
During the regular season, Cruz hit .234 with 10 home runs and 64 RBI.
He also had an OPS of .651, hit 16 doubles and totaled 151 bases.
With his option declined, Cruz could find himself with a number of potential suitors who could be looking for a designated hitter or outfield bat.
The New York Yankees could be a team that targets him if they lose Aaron Judge.
If he remains unsigned, the Classic could turn into a chance to prove himself before the 2023 season begins.
At least he will remain active and will participate in the Classic, as well as being the manager of the Dominican Republic.
However, Cruz has yet to sign elsewhere and his playing days may be over after the Classic.