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O's give OF Cruz one-year, $8.5M deal

A person familiar with the deal tells the Associated Press that free agent slugger Nelson Cruz and the Baltimore Orioles have reached agreement on a one-year contract.

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The person spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity because the contract was not complete. Cruz will earn about $8.5 million, and can make more in performance bonuses.

Other media outlets had reported a deal was in place.

The 33-year-old Cruz was suspended 50 games last year while with the Texas Rangers as a result of Major League Baseball's investigation into the Biogenesis drug scandal.

Cruz is a two-time All-Star and is expected to become Baltimore's designated hitter. The Orioles started full-squad workouts at spring training earlier this week.

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