Former Texas Rangers outfielder and current Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz found his name mentioned in a lawsuit alleging a major MLB player agency provided players with performance-enhancing drugs.
On Monday, FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reported that Juan Carlos Nunez, a former ACES baseball agency employee, filed a $2.5 million lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court against Seth and Sam Levinson, the agencies two founders. In the suit. Nunez claims that the brothers were fully aware of players' PED use and also directed clients to PED providers.
Cruz is featured in the part of the suit that describes how ACES management would direct Nunez into providing PEDs for clients.
From the lawsuit: "Plaintiff kept the Defendants apprised of all the developments with Cruz and the Biogenesis clinic. Defendant Sam Levinson was pleased to hear that Cruz would receive PEDs from [Anthony] Bosch, because Levinson knew that it would improve Cruz’s performance, and therefore increase ACES’s commissions... Defendant Sam Levinson told Plaintiff to introduce arbitration-eligible players, free agents, and prospects to Bosch so they could be on his programs and perform better."
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Cruz joined the Rangers in 2006, but his career with Texas really took off a few seasons later. From 2009 to 2013 he racked up 135 home runs and 407 RBIs.
Despite his statistical success, Cruz might be best remembered by Rangers fans for his catastrophic blunder in right field during the 2011 World Series. That sequence played a large role in costing his team a championship.
In his final season with the team, though, Cruz was suspended for 50 games for violating MLB's new steroid policy. The suspension, not to mention his age (33), helped solidify the Rangers' decision not to resign the power-hitting outfielder.
Cruz enjoyed the four best seasons of his career as a member of the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners.
Nunez had previously spent time in prison for his role in the notorious Melky Cabrera fake website and PED case. He was also heavily involved with disgraced trainer Anthony Bosch during the Biogenesis scandal.
ACES represents a significant number of high profile major leaguers such as Cubs pitcher Jon Lester, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Mets third baseman David Wright, amongst many others. However, Cabrera and Cruz were the only two players mentioned in the lawsuit.