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Others besides A-Rod await MLB's decision

The SportsXchange

Nelson Cruz and Everth Cabrera, like numerous other baseball players implicated in the Biogenesis scandal, are awaiting judgment day.

According to Cruz, that day will come Monday, and he's not sure what his response will be.

Cruz, a Rangers outfielder, and Cabrera, the San Diego Padres' shortstop, are among 10 or so players awaiting word from Major League Baseball on whether they will be suspended for their alleged ties to Biogenesis. The former South Florida clinic reportedly supplied numerous athletes with banned performance-enhancing substances.

Cruz is weighing a possible appeal if he's suspended for the Rangers' final 50 regular-season games.

"Whatever my decision is going to be, I haven't decided what it's going to be," Cruz said Sunday before hitting his 27th home run of the season in Texas' 4-0 win over the A's in Oakland. "It's not just about myself. It's about the team. Definitely I'm concerned."

Cruz's decision is complicated by the fact that he will be eligible for free agency this winter. If he appeals and goes into the offseason with the threat of a 50-game ban lingering for the start of next season, he could badly damage his market value. On the other hand, sitting out the rest of this year would be a serious blow to the Rangers' postseason hopes.

The Rangers are prepared to move forward regardless of Monday's news.

"We'll be somewhat reactive to whatever does go down," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "By function of all the innuendo, we've certainly had to come up with some sort of Plans B, C and D in the event that something does shake out."

The same goes for the Padres, who signed shortstop Ronny Cedeno to a minor league deal Saturday, giving them insurance in case they lose Cabrera. Cedeno played for Class A Lake Elsinore over the weekend. If Cabrera is suspended, Cedeno probably would join the Padres on Tuesday when they open a two-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.

"Any one of our guys you take away right now is going to hurt us," Padres outfielder Will Venable said. "We depend on everyone on our team. Cabby, as shortstop and our leadoff guy, obviously not to have him will hurt. Looking beyond that, I haven't thought about how we're going to replace him. Whatever happens, anyone in here who is no longer playing is going to hurt us."

Other notable players expected to be disciplined in the Biogenesis case include New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta.
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