MLB Rumors 2014: Seattle Mariners Want to Sign Nelson Cruz, Scott Baker Before Spring Training
The Seattle Mariners made the biggest move this offseason when they struck a record-setting, 10-year deal worth $240 million with former New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, but the club is still ready to make more moves.
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik denied earlier reports indicating that the signing of Cano would force them to avoid making further moves before the 2014 MLB season, saying that he is set to talk to team president Kevin Mather soon about making several additions to their roster.
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"Kevin Mather and I will sit down in the next couple days and kind of hash out some things in terms of what his vision is and where we're at and maybe where we need to go. But we're not going to do anything foolish. If the right scenario is there and it makes economic sense and talent sense, then that's something you engage in," Zduriencik told reporters via FanSided.
Recent reports indicated that the Mariners, who currently have an estimated payroll of $85 million for next season, remain interested in signing Nelson Cruz.
Zduriencik told MLB.com that he has been talking to Cruz's agent Adam Katz about a possible contract, but added that no imminent deal is in sight due to the high asking price of the 33-year-old right fielder.
Cruz, who tallied 27 home runs and 76 RBIs in 109 games with the Texas Rangers last season before being handed a 50-game suspension due to a PED-related case, is reportedly seeking a multi-year deal.
Cruz also turned down a $14.1-million qualifying offer from the Rangers in November, which means that Texas will receive draft pick compensation from the team who will sign the veteran right fielder.
"There's an economic factor tied to that, as well as losing your Draft pick. Would I like to have him here? Absolutely. I'd love to have Nelson Cruz in this lineup. But how much do you have to pay him, how many years is it going to be and are you willing to lose another Draft pick? Those are the things you have to factor," Zduriencik said when asked about Cruz.
Aside from Cruz, Zduriencik also confirmed that they are looking to improve their pitching rotation before Spring Training, and former Chicago Cubs pitcher Scott Baker is on top of their list.
Baker, who sat out the entire 2012 MLB season due to an elbow injury, impressed in the final month of the previous season when he posted a 3.60 ERA with six strikeouts in three starts for the Cubs.