Retired Nelson Cruz joins Dodgers as adviser

ByAlden Gonzalez ESPN logo
Thursday, November 30, 2023

Longtime major league outfielder Nelson Cruz has joined the Los Angeles Dodgers as an adviser who is expected to work mostly out of the team's academy in his native Dominican Republic, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.

Cruz, 43, announced his retirement from the majors in early November, then played five games with the Gigantes del Cibao of the Dominican Winter League as something of a farewell tour.

Cruz spent 19 years in the big leagues, most recently with the San Diego Padres through the first three months of the 2023 season. He made seven All-Star teams and won four Silver Slugger Awards, amassing 464 home runs and 2,053 hits for eight teams. Cruz was also suspended 50 games in 2013 for his ties to the Biogenesis steroid scandal, but his reputation throughout the sport has allowed him to distance himself from the label better than most others tied to performance-enhancing drugs.

A winner of the Roberto Clemente Award for his philanthropic efforts in 2021, Cruz is especially revered by the Latin players and served as both the general manager and a player for their national team in the World Baseball Classic this year.

The Dodgers haven't officially announced Cruz's hiring and the specifics of his role are not yet known.

Dominican baseball reporter Tenchy Rodriguez first reported the development.