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.

Nationals' Cruz plans to return for 2023
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