Monday, February 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

After Cano, Mariners may next eye Rays' Price

After stunning the baseball world Friday by luring All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano out of New York with a reported $240 million, 10-year offer, the Mariners may be next targeting Rays ace David Price.

As impressive as the addition of Cano would be, the Mariners need more to be competitive again, and general manager Jack Zduriencik, in the last year of his contract, has indicated a willingness to make further bold moves.

Price would be a prime target, and the Mariners are considered one of the teams that would have the requisite young talent to pry him from the Rays and the money to pay him. Price, 28, is eligible for arbitration each of the next two years and can be a free agent in 2016.

Prized pitching prospect Taijuan Walker, a 21-year-old who made it from Double A to Triple A to the majors last year, likely would be the centerpiece of any package. Reports were circulating that a potential deal could also include displaced second baseman Nick Franklin, whom the Rays also admire; pitcher James Paxton and/or first baseman Justin Smoak, and prospects. Nothing was believed to be imminent.

Cano, 31, agreed to what would be the third-largest contract in baseball history, with completion of the deal pending a physical, multiple media outlets reported. An announcement is expected Monday.

Only the two deals signed by Alex Rodriguez — first with the Rangers (10 years, $252 million), then the Yankees (10 years, $275 million) — would be worth more than Cano's, which would be tied with Albert Pujols' contract with the Angels. Cano would have a full no-trade clause, ESPN reported.

The Mariners said in a statement, "We are not able to confirm any news regarding Robinson Cano at this time. If and when an agreement is completed and finalized, we will announce."

The five-time All-Star hit .314 with 27 homers and 107 RBIs last season for the Yankees. New York's last offer to Cano and his team of agents, led by music mogul-turned-agent Jay Z, was $175 million over seven years.

"He was a great Yankee," Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. "He was a great player. I think everybody tried hard to get the deal done. We just never got close enough, obviously. We're going to keep going. … We're not done spending."

Among those to express surprise over the Cano deal was Price, who said on Twitter: "No way!! I never thought Cano would leave NYC!! #wow"

The Mariners, with a major revenue boost coming from a regional sports TV network, made their move on Cano. If they were able to land Price, he would join a rotation that includes Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma.

Yanks get Beltran, keep Kuroda: The Yankees agreed to a three-year, $45 million contract with 36-year-old outfielder Carlos Beltran, cbs­sports.com and the New York Daily News reported. In 145 games for St. Louis in 2013, Beltran hit .296 with 24 homers. New York also announced that right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, 39, agreed to return for a third season, for one year at about $16 million, reports said. The team also finalized a $3 million, one-year deal with utilityman Kelly Johnson, 31, who hit .235 with 16 homers and 52 RBIs for the Rays.

Mets nab Granderson: Free-agent outfielder Curtis Granderson is leaving the Yankees but not New York, agreeing to a $60 million, four-year deal with the Mets, the Associated Press reported. The deal is pending a physical. Granderson, 33 in March, would give the Mets much-needed power in their outfield. He batted .229 with seven homers and 15 RBIs this year, when wrist and hand injuries limited him to 61 games. He surpassed 40 homers in each of his previous two seasons.

Astros: Right-hander Scott Feldman, who turns 31 just before spring training, signed a three-year deal to become the veteran presence in the rotation. He was 12-12 with a 3.86 ERA in 30 combined starts for the Cubs and Orioles last season.

Marlins: Free-agent infielder Rafael Furcal, 36, will try to make his comeback from elbow ligament replacement surgery in Miami, agreeing to a deal late Thursday, the Associated Press reported. Terms weren't available. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia passed his physical, and his $21 million, three-year deal was completed. The team is closing in on a two-year, $7.5 million pact with former Pirates first baseman Garrett Jones, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

Nationals: Free-agent outfielder Nate McLouth, 32, agreed to a two-year deal, the Associated Press reported. He hit .258 with 12 homers and 36 RBIs in 146 games for Baltimore last season.

Red Sox: Free-agent first baseman Mike Napoli agreed to a two-year deal for $32 million to return. He hit .259 with 23 homers and 92 RBIs this year.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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