ARLINGTON -- Rangers general manager Jon Daniels clarified comments published in USA Today on Monday on Nelson Cruz's suspension. The story quoted Daniels as having said the club would be in better shape if Cruz wasn't suspended, and it's a choice the Rangers outfielder made.
Daniels said Monday he doesn't blame Cruz for the club's current slump, losing 15 of its last 21 games down the stretch. He suggested the Rangers weren't better without the All-Star's bat in the lineup.
"Ultimately, the decisions he made put him in that position," Daniels said. "I'm certainly not putting any more than that on him."
Cruz said in the article if he hadn't accepted the 50-game suspension, Major League Baseball would have threatened to suspend him for 100 games for violating Major League Baseball's Basic Agreement and Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program. The outfielder will be a free agent at the end of the season.
"Him and [Tigers shortstop Jhonny] Peralta were in a unique spot that they were going to be free agents and had to weigh their interests going forward against their interests and the team's interests this year," Daniels said. "The 100 games versus 50 games, I heard that prior to him saying it today, but I wasn't really involved in those discussions."
Daniels said he still hasn't decided whether the club will bring Cruz back if Texas makes the postseason. Cruz will be eligible to return after Sunday's game against the Angels, so Cruz will also be eligible to play if the Rangers are in any tiebreaker games for the Wild Card spot.
"We haven't made a call," Daniels said. "I don't think it's in anyone's interest to start talking about playoff rosters. We just got to win tonight and go from there. We're right in the middle of this pennant race. We just got to play our best baseball one night at a time."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.