MLB notebook: Cruz agrees to deal with Orioles

Texas Rangers' Nelson Cruz swings and misses against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fourth inning...

Texas Rangers' Nelson Cruz swings and misses against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fourth inning of their MLB interleague baseball game in Arlington, Texas August 1, 2013. (REUTERS/Mike Stone)

Sun Wire Services

, Last Updated: 9:35 PM ET

The Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a one-year, $8-million contract with free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz, according to reports by multiple media outlets on Saturday.

The deal, which comes just three days after the Orioles signed former all-star pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to a lucrative four-year contract, is pending a physical and includes $750,000 in incentives.

Cruz, 33, would add another power bat to Baltimore's already impressive lineup, and make them even more competitive in the American League East.

The twice all-star hit .266 with 27 homers and 76 RBI last season in 109 games for the Texas Rangers before accepting a 50-game suspension as one of 14 players implicated in the Biogenesis doping scandal.

Cruz, who rejected a one-year, $14.1-million qualifying offer from the Rangers in hopes of landing a rich multi-year deal that did not materialize, has a .268 batting average with 157 homers and 489 RBIs over nine seasons in the majors.

SOTO HAS SURGERY

Texas Rangers catcher Geovany Soto had surgery on his left foot Saturday morning because a small bone was pushing against his flexor tendon and creating some pain, ESPNDallas.com reported.

Soto is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.

The arthroscopic procedure should alleviate the pain so Soto can resume baseball activities in less than two weeks and be ready to play in about three weeks.

Even after Soto returns, backup and ex-Toronto Blue Jay J.P. Arencibia could still see some extended playing time early in the season.

Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said another option included Soto going through the season with a series of injections instead of surgery, but the procedure was chosen because of the quick recovery timeline.

"Once his sutures heal, which is in approximately 10 days, he should be able to return to almost all baseball activity and then the hope is at about the three-week mark he'd be effectively game ready," Levine said. "But we'll evaluate that."

Soto is expected to return to training camp on Monday.

GIANTS SIGN COLVIN

The San Francisco Giants signed outfielder Tyler Colvin to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, the San Jose Mercury News reported Saturday.

Colvin previously agreed to a major league contract with the Baltimore Orioles in January, but the deal was cancelled after the club expressed concerns about his back during a physical exam.

Colvin spent most of last season with the Rockies' Class AAA club in Colorado Springs, where he had a batting line of .275/.377/.480 with nine home runs and 32 RBI in 67 games. He batted .160 with three homers and 10 RBIs in 75 at-bats with the Rockies.

The 28-year-old will compete for a backup spot in the Giants' outfield.

DODGERS SIGN CUBAN

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Saturday that they finalized a contract with Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena.

It is a five-year, $25-million deal that includes a $7.5-million signing bonus, according to reports.

The 23-year-old, who defected from Cuba in November, is known as a defensive shortstop who is not as skilled at the plate.

In Cuba's 2013 split season, Arruebarruena batted .275 in the first half and .317 in the second half, but analysts project him as a .220 hitter in the major leagues. Some compare his defensive prowess to Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias.

Arruebarruena was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball earlier this week, according to MLB.com, and cleared by the U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control to enter into a contract with a major league team after establishing residency in Haiti.

 


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