Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 1/31/13
The worst offseason in the history of the Texas Rangers took another ugly turn Tuesday when slugger Nelson Cruz's name showed up in a Miami New Times report linking major leaguers to performance-enhancing drugs. Two of the players on this list, Alex Rodriguez and Nationals ace Gio Gonzalez have issued strong denials. Cruz, who apparently was in the Dominican Republic, hasn't issued a statement at this point. Just by coincidence, Rangers GM Jon Daniels and several members of the organization were on a working trip in the Dominican when the news broke. They had not been tipped off that a report was forthcoming and were only beginning to process the news. But at this point, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which Cruz isn't suspended for at least 50 games during the upcoming season. MLB commissioner Bud Selig and the players' union has proudly moved forward with one of the most comprehensive testing programs in professional sports. This will give them another opportunity to prove how serious they are about cleaning up a sport that has been sullied by PEDs. Cruz hasn't failed a drug test under MLB's program, but he can be suspended if investigators show "just cause." The likely suspension of Cruz puts even more of a spotlight on the Rangers' rocky offseason. If the team had landed someone of Zack Greinke's stature in free agency, perhaps this Cruz situation wouldn't pack so much of a punch. The Rangers were forced to sign aging free agents just to fill out a lineup. Now, they could lose one of their top run producers for a significant portion of the season. This was already being billed, by some, as a transitional season. But with a shaky starting rotation and the potential loss of Cruz, this could be a disaster. A source told me Wednesday that it's highly unlikely the Rangers will go outside the organization for a contingency plan. I'm also told the club will resist the urge to request (again) Ian Kinsler moving to first base in order to make room for Jurickson Profar to play second base. In that scenario, Mike Olt and Mitch Moreland would likely platoon in right field during Cruz's absence. What's more likely to happen is Olt replacing Cruz in right, and Lance Berkman seeing more time than expected at first base. Honk if that last part sounds completely absurd. Berkman's had two knee surgeries in the past year and he only appeared in 31 games for the Cardinals in 2012. I'm not sure it's a great idea to have him stretching for throws. It's still beyond me how Kinsler has so much leverage in this organization. I understand that he doesn't want to end up switching positions like his friend and mentor Michael Young was asked to do three times. It's been explained to me that Kinsler needs to be in a good frame of mind if he's going to help replace Young as a leader in the clubhouse. But if his moving to first base gives the Rangers the best chance to win, shouldn't that trump everything else? I've been amazed at how Kinsler and his agent have been able to flex so much muscle, especially on the heels of such a poor individual season. But at this point the Rangers have promised Kinsler he can stay at second base, and they don't intend to renege. It's also important to recall that manager Ron Washington didn't roll out the red carpet for Profar when he was called up last summer. No matter what he says now, Washington felt like Profar and Olt were being forced upon him. He took one for the team when he admitted that he may have run his players into the ground last season. Even to this day, I'm not sure he believes that had much to do with his team's shocking collapse. If Cruz is going to skate on this allegation, he better have a wonderful alibi. The problem is that two of the names that showed up in the newspaper's report, Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera, are both coming off 50-game suspensions. Selig was embarrassed by how former NL MVP Ryan Braun beat the system on a technicality. The commissioner is determined not to let that happen again. The Rangers can't afford to wait around for a ruling on Cruz. They're already discussing several scenarios. Maybe this will force them to tap into farm system that has been hailed as one of the best in baseball for several years. I just hope Kinsler doesn't get the final say this time around.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Kyle Lowry drains half-court shot to force overtime

WATCH: Florida K nails 64-yard field goal easily

Marcus Mariota fires up Predators fans before playoff game

49ers file for arbitration in Levi’s Stadium rent dispute with Santa Clara

Kevin Durant has interesting reason for lying about height

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Kris Letang gets one-game suspension for high hit on Marcus Johansson

Report: Bills sign OT Cordy Glenn to 5-year extension worth up to $65 million

Texans’ Duane Brown had 10-game suspension overturned

Bruce Boudreau on coaching again: “I’ve had a couple of conversations”

Report: Don Shula hospitalized for breathing difficulties

Jerry Sandusky seeking new trial four years after being convicted

Mark Richt: Satellite camps are ‘illegal recruiting’

Someone built their very own Batmobile for the Gumball 3000 race

Lamarr Houston on Aaron Rodgers: ‘He’s a little too arrogant’

Florida State bans fans from wearing headdresses at all athletic events

Tom Brady’s request for 14-day extension granted in Deflategate case

Most exciting games of the 2016 NBA playoffs so far

Dale Earnhardt Jr. lays favorite car ‘Amelia’ to rest following bang-ups at Talladega

Former Rockets star Robert Reid: ‘Harden looks after Harden’

New Drake songs that explain why Raptors can beat Heat

Will Letang face suspension for hit on Johansson?

Philly-area BBQ joint creates sandwich to rip Sam Bradford

Ten players who could go No. 1 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Most exciting games of the 2016 NBA playoffs so far

Five bizarre moments in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

How the Sharks have 'weathered the storm' against the Predators

Okay, who stole the Kansas City Royals player off that billboard?

Eight players to watch in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

A Round-By-Round Look At the NFL Draft

10 biggest takeaways from the NBA playoffs thus far

QUIZ: Name every No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft since 1985

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Sharks vs. Predators

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Blues vs. Stars

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker