Storylines: Cruz, Mariners agree to deal
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Monday, Dec. 1.
- The Mariners agreed to a multi-year deal with Nelson Cruz, Dominican journalist Yancen Pujols first reported. Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com added that the Orioles were told Cruz had a four-year, $58 million offer on the table, which Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune confirmed was from the Mariners. He will earn $57 million over the four years plus a $1 million signing bonus. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick heard that the deal is still pending a physical. Dutton also reported that the M's prefer to use Cruz in a DH role and will still seek a right fielder from outside the organization. According to Dutton, two possibilities are free agents Torii Hunter and Alex Rios.
News and Notes:
- Bryce Harper and the Nationals are headed towards a grievance in December to resolve the long-lingering question whether his contract permits him to opt into arbitration, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported. Rosenthal wondered whether the Nats would be better served not fighting the point, if the club hopes to have a shot at extending Harper.
- The Orioles now appear to have less than an even shot of re-signing outfielder Nick Markakis, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reported. No progress has been made since negotiations stalled, re-opened, and quieted again, Connolly wrote. One possible hold-up, per Connolly, is the length of the deal. Though the sides were operating on the premise of a four-year term in the early run of negotiations, now there are rumblings from the team side that it is not comfortable with that length.
- The Yankees are in "serious pursuit" of lefty Andrew Miller, ESPN's Buster Olney reported. Olney added that given the teams that are showing the most interest in Miller, a four-year deal is likely, as others have indicated. Olney also reported that the Dodgers are also in serious persuit of Miller.
- With a line of quality pitchers queuing up behind Jon Lester and company, the Pirates are staying engaged with their own outgoing free agents, Francisco Liriano and Edinson Volquez, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Dejan Kovacevic recently reported that the club hoped to return both hurlers, even after adding A.J. Burnett. Indeed, Pittsburgh is making clear to agents of other free agent starters that Liriano is their top priority on the rotation market, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. Though the Bucs would stand to give up the sandwich pick they would receive were Liriano to sign elsewhere, he has been quite a valuable contributor to the team's winning ways over the last two seasons.
- The Pirates announced that they acquired infielder Sean Rodriguez from the Rays in exchange for a player to be named later and cash considerations. First baseman Gaby Sanchez was designated for assignment to clear roster space.
- The Phillies never made an offer for outfielder Yasmany Tomas, agent Jay Alou Jr. told Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Alou said that the club was engaged throughout the process, but that GM Ruben Amaro Jr. gave the impression that he had to "clear salary" before he could put dollars on the table. "His hands were tied," Alou said in reference to Amaro. For his part, Amaro said only that "it was clear the Diamondbacks valued him higher than we did." The ownership group has not created any "impediments" to his baseball operations staff, he added.
- The Padres are becoming more aggressive in marketing catcher Yasmani Grandal on the trade market, ESPN's Buster Olney reported. Previous reports have indicated that the interest in San Diego catchers is strong, with Grandal, Rene Rivera and top prospect Austin Hedges all said to be generating calls.
- The Padres announced that Mark Kotsay will join the team's uniformed staff as the hitting coach. Kotsay saw action in 17 MLB campaigns — including two stints with the Friars. He hung up his spikes before the 2014 season, which he spent with the organization as a special assistant.