Nelson Cruz was born July 1, 1980.
Cruz was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Mets in 1998. He played in the Dominican Summer League for three years before being traded to the Oakland Athletics for Jorge Velandia. After spending four more years in the A’s minor league system, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Keith Ginter.
In 2005 he made his major league debut with the Brewers. A little over a year later, Cruz was traded in a multi-player deal to the Texas Rangers. It took a few more seasons before Cruz was able to establish himself as a solid player. In 2009 he hit 33 home runs and was selected as an All-Star replacement for Torii Hunter.
After a solid eight-season stretch with the Rangers, Cruz was suspended for 50 games in 2013, due to his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.
In the following offseason he struggled to find a new home, finally signing a one-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles. In 2014, Cruz hit a career-high 40 homers, made the All-Star Game and finished seventh in MVP voting.
Cruz is in his first season with Mariners.