MLB names Nelson Cruz a special advisor

Major League Baseball has tabbed seven-time All-Star Nelson Cruz to fill the new role of special advisor for baseball operations.

His job will include serving as a liaison between the organization and players in Latin American nations, including 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 news release Friday. “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 played 19 seasons in the majors for eight different franchises. With the Texas Rangers, he was MVP of the American League Championship Series in 2011.

In 2,055 career games, he had a .274 batting average with 464 home runs and 1,325 RBIs. He played his final game with the San Diego Padres on July 3, 2023, at age 43.

“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. “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 was the general manager of the Dominican Republic team in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.