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Nelson Cruz Named MLB Special Advisor of Baseball Ops in Latin America

 Julian Guilarte  |    May 19th, 2024 1:05pm EDT

Nelson Cruz throws the ceremonial first pitch to Félix Hernández prior to a game between the Red Sox and Mariners in March. (Photo by Joe Nicholson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Nelson Cruz was hired as a consultant to MLB as a special advisor of baseball operations. The news was announced by MLB on May 16. Cruz’s main focus will be on Latin America and growing player relations in the Dominican Republic.

On November 29, Cruz was also hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an advisor who would work out of the academy and his native Dominican Republic.

“Nelson Cruz is a respected voice in the game whose outstanding service to young people and those in need in the Dominican Republic earned him the Roberto Clemente Award,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Nelson is passionate about growing the game and improving issues for players and our sport as a whole. He will be a resource to many people across our game, especially in the Dominican Republic.”

Cruz, 43, retired from the majors this past offseason and played a few games with his LIDOM team Gigantes del Cibao for the final time in November of 2023.

“I’m extremely happy to join Major League Baseball. Since I signed out of the Dominican Republic as a teenager, I’ve cared deeply about the issues affecting that country, and the game as a whole,” Cruz said in a release. “I’m excited to work with the Commissioner’s Office and the opportunity to work with young players by sharing what I have learned since I signed in 1998.”

Cruz has stayed loyal to his hometown, Las Matas de Santa Cruz, donating food, medical supplies, and services to the Dominican Republic. He also gave them computers and promoted education, employment, and income stability. In 2021, he was honored for his efforts with the Roberto Clemente Award.

Ten years after winning the WBC as a player in 2013, Cruz was also a player and general manager for the Dominican Republic in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. The D.R. ultimately fell short on the final day of Pool D, losing to Puerto Rico 5-2.

Cruz played 19 MLB seasons from 2005-2023. He spent the majority of his career with the Texas Rangers, playing eight seasons from 2006 to 2013. Cruz spent four seasons with the Seattle Mariners from 2015-2018 and retired as a Mariner on March 29.

From 2010-2019 Cruz hit the most home runs of that decade with 346. Cruz is a seven-time All-Star and has won four silver sluggers. He has 464 career home runs, 1,325 RBI, and 2,053 hits with an OPS of .856.

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Julian Guilarte