Nationals' Cruz plans to return for 2023

Rich Schultz / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Washington Nationals designated hitter Nelson Cruz isn't ready to hang it up just yet.

Despite struggling to his worst offensive season since 2007, Cruz is planning to return for a 19th campaign in 2023.

"If I don't feel like I am having fun, I will leave, you know?" Cruz told The Washington Post's Jesse Dougherty.

"Everybody is here for different reasons. I play to win, to get to the championship, to win a World Series. That's the ultimate goal that we share. But it is not just my career. It is for everyone around me, too. A lot of people depend on if I play and how I play."

The 42-year-old signed a one-year, $15-million contract with the Nationals in the offseason. Cruz owns a paltry .650 OPS with 10 home runs and 64 RBIs across 124 games this season for the last-place Nationals.

Despite a down year for Cruz, Nationals manager Dave Martinez believes the veteran can help a club in 2023.

"He has potential to go help and DH and put up some numbers again," Martinez said. "But that's totally up to him."

Cruz is a lifetime .274/.344/.515 hitter with 459 home runs and 1,302 RBIs in 2,006 games with the Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, and Nationals.

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Nationals' Cruz plans to return for 2023
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