Mariners News: M's To Pass On Free Agent Nelson Cruz Because Of PED Past?

The Seattle Mariners are on the prowl for an impact right-handed bat this offseason - a need that would seemingly place Baltimore Orioles free agent Nelson Cruz at the top of their potential wishlist.

Cruz hit an MLB-leading 40 home runs in 2014, while Mariners hitters hit just 28 home runs against left-handing pitching for the worst mark in all of Major League Baseball. However, will Cruz could very well be a solid fit to boost them in that department, Cruz's past might scare the Mariners off of him.

Here's Jon Heyman of CBS Sports with why he thinks Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik may not have the green light from his superiors when it comes to signing Cruz:

The reason? Cruz served a suspension in 2013 for violating baseball’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Last month, the highly respected Bob Dutton of The Tacoma News Tribune reported that Mariners ownership “backed away” from an agreed-upon deal with Cruz last offseason because of concerns relating to the suspension.

Additionally, sources told FOX Sports that Mariners chairman Howard Lincoln withheld his approval for a Cruz deal because he didn’t want the team’s public image associated with a high-profile player who had used PEDs. But when asked, a Mariners official said the team and Cruz never reached agreement on a contract last winter, before Cruz joined the Baltimore Orioles on a one-year deal and enjoyed an All-Star season.

Regardless of what the truth actually is, the Mariners might look elsewhere at this point when it comes to finding some right-handed power for their lineup.

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