MLB notes: Yankees to honour Mandela with plaque in Monument Park

The New York Yankees will honour Nelson Mandela with a plaque alongside other club greats like...

The New York Yankees will honour Nelson Mandela with a plaque alongside other club greats like Mariano Rivera. (Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:58 PM ET

Nelson Mandela will find himself among the former New York Yankees greats honoured in Monument Park.

The Yankees announced Monday that a plaque celebrating the life of the former South African president will be erected alongside the busts of former greats in centrefield at Yankee Stadium. The plaque will be dedicated during Jackie Robinson Day festivities April 15, before the Yankees play the Chicago Cubs.

Mandela, who died Thursday at age 95, visited Yankee Stadium in 1990, just four months after being released from prison.

"Nelson Mandela's visit was a transcendent moment in the history of the original Yankee Stadium," Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. "We want this plaque to be an everlasting tribute to his indomitable spirit and unfailing dignity."

In addition to Yankees greats of the past, Monument Park has tributes to three former popes, all of whom visited the stadium, and the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

PHILLIES SOUR ON BROWN?

The Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly shopping all-star outfielder Domonic Brown.

According to Yahoo Sports, the Phillies are hoping to trade Brown, who finished tied for fourth in the National League with 27 home runs, for "controllable" starting pitching. The report says the Phillies are trying to move Brown while his value is high.

Brown, 26, hit .272 with 27 homers and 83 RBIs in 139 games last season. But the knock on the 26-year-old is his defence, which is poor for a corner outfielder.

The Phillies are looking for pitching in part because one-time ace Roy Halladay retired Monday after signing a one-day contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, his former team.

MARLINS MAKE IT OFFICIAL

After spending last winter slashing their payroll, the Miami Marlins signed free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a three-year, $21-million contract Monday.

The sides agreed to terms last week and officially announced the signing during the first day of baseball's Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.

The 28-year-old switch-hitter helped the Boston Red Sox win the World Series this year, though he lost playing time to backup catcher David Ross late in the postseason. During the regular season, Saltalamacchia hit .273 with 14 home runs and 65 RBIs in 121 games.

He is a .246 career hitter with 78 homers in seven seasons with the Atlanta Braves (2007), Texas Rangers (2007-10) and Red Sox (2010-13).

The Marlins have also come to terms with two other free agents in the last few days: first baseman Garrett Jones for two years and $7.75 million and infielder Rafael Furcal for one year and $3 million.

THAMES HEADS FOR KOREA

Former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Eric Thames is taking his talents to South Korea.

Thames, who played for four teams over the last two seasons, was released by the Houston Astros so he can play in Korea. Thames will reportedly play for the NC Dinos, a Changwon-based team in the Korea Baseball Organization.

The 27-year-old was claimed off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles by the Astros last September but he didn't play in the majors at all in 2013.

Thames hit .257 with 15 homers and 48 RBIs in 141 games over two seasons with the Blue Jays.

CRUZ TALKS TO O'S

The agent for free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz met with the Baltimore Orioles Monday and further talks are planned, according to Fox Sports.

Cruz, 33, is reportedly looking for a four-year, $75 million deal but so far there have been no takers. The Orioles, Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners are reportedly in the hunt for his services.

Cruz hit .266 with 27 homers and 76 RBIs in 109 games before MLB slapped him with a 50-game suspension for his links to Biogenesis.

BRIEFLY

Righthanded pitcher Felipe Paulino, who has missed most of the last two seasons after having Tommy John surgery, agreed to a one-year, $1.75 million deal with the Chicago White Sox. Paulino also had shoulder surgery two months ago ... The Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets are reportedly trying to sign former Oakland A's pitcher Bartolo Colon. The Mets talked to the agent for Colon, who had 18 wins last season, on Monday ... The Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays have asked the Miami Marlins about the availability of first baseman Logan Morrison, according to Fox Sports. Morrison appears the odd-man out now that the Marlins have signed first baseman Garrett Jones ... The Cleveland Indians signed first baseman David Cooper to a one-year deal. The Indians signed Cooper last August after he'd been let go by the Blue Jays but released him two weeks later.


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