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Nelson Cruz talks Mariners’ offseason moves

Nelson Cruz said that he trusts in the work that he and his teammates have put in this winter. (AP)
LISTEN: Mariners Slugger Nelson Cruz

The mischievous laugh indicated that Nelson Cruz may have known he would create a little stir when he posted a video of himself taking work at first base last month in the Dominican Republic. He insists however, that the caption of the Instagram post, “Versatility is important,” told the whole story.

“I always take ground balls there,” he told Bob and Tom on 710 ESPN Seattle. “Even during the season I take ground balls at first base, second base, but just in case…you never know.”

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His glove should not get much use this season. Last season was a season of transition of sorts for Cruz who moved to full time DH. It was not a move he was excited about, but he has adapted.

“It was a boring season, I want to say,” he said allowing the briefest of pauses before letting out another laugh. “I’m kidding. You want to win games and I know we have really good outfielders. I can help my team with my bat, that’s what I do. If they need me in the outfield, I can go there. I have no complaints. I always show up to play and win games. That’s the reason.”

While Cruz has been spending the better part of his offseason getting himself ready for 162 or more games, he also took time out to help his teammates organizing a mini camp in Miami. While the group worked out together under the watch of Cruz’s person trainer Iron Glen (and with visits from Mariners personnel including Dr. Lorena Martin) the bigger goal for Cruz was to bring the guys together, particularly the new guys, in a time when they usually would be scattered across the globe.

“We always make sure we keep in touch not only with the guys we had last year, but the new guys,” he explained. “I invited (Ryon) Healy and (Dee) Gordon to the camp in Miami to make sure they know what we are all about as a team. Even (Juan) Nicasio, when Scott (Servais) came to the DR we went to dinner. We want to treat everyone like a family and make sure everybody is on the same page.”

Cruz said that he trusts in the work that he and his teammates have put in this winter and the hope is, that work, paired with health, will get the team into the post season.

“That’s why they brought me to Seattle,” he said. “Unfortunately we haven’t been able to make it the last few years, we are one or two games short. Hopefully this year is the year we jump back and make the playoffs and bring the fans the enjoyment they have been missing for so long.”

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