MLB notebook: Mariners make push for Cano
CBSSports.com reported the Mariners are trying to make a game of it in the Robinson Cano derby.
A source said the Mariners “bumped” their first bid of about $200 million and are believed to be willing to go somewhere in the range of $230 million.
While it isn't confirmed it has gone possibly to $230 million or even $240 million, as Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reported the Mariners were willing to go to, presumably it has to be in that neighborhood to give the Mariners a chance.
“I think they've got to blow him away,'' one connected Mariners person said. “They've got to make an offer he can't refuse.”
Cano reportedly is on his way to Seattle to meet with the Mariners after letting his agents handle the first meeting. That is a good sign for Seattle.
Royals deal for Aoki
The Royals acquired outfielder Norichika Aoki from Milwaukee to be their leadoff hitter, which also means the Brewers are likely to shift Ryan Braun to right field.
Milwaukee received left-hander Will Smith, who spent most of the past couple seasons shuffling between Kansas City and Triple-A Omaha, and between the bullpen and the starting rotation.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore said he envisions Aoki batting at the top of the order, which would allow Alex Gordon to slide down into an RBI-producing role. Aoki hit .286 with eight homers, 37 RBIs and 20 steals last season.
Dodgers retain Wilson
A person with knowledge of the negotiations said free-agent reliever Brian Wilson has agreed to terms on a $10 million, one-year contract to stay with the Dodgers.
The deal is pending a physical, said the person, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team had not made an announcement Wilson's new contract includes an option for the 2015 season.
Wilson, a right-hander and the 2010 majors saves leader while with San Francisco, joined the NL West champion Dodgers last season after a second Tommy John surgery. He missed almost the entire 2012 season when the Giants won their second World Series in three years.
Red Sox, Mujica agree
A person familiar with the deal told the Associated Press that the Red Sox have agreed with reliever Edward Mujica on a two-year deal.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a physical and had not been announced. The 29-year-old Mujica gives the Red Sox some protection if soon-to-be 39-year-old closer Koji Uehara cannot repeat his 2013 performance.
Mujica was 2-1 with 37 saves and a 2.78 ERA for the National League champion Cardinals last season. He made two appearances in the playoffs, giving up one run in two innings. He did not appear in the World Series against the Red Sox.
Contreras signs with Rangers
Cuban right-hander Jose Contreras signed a minor league contract with the Rangers that includes a non-roster invitation to major league spring training.
Contreras spent last season with the Pirates and Red Sox organizations.
He had ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow in June 2012 and spent last spring rehabbing before making seven relief appearances for the Pirates in May.
Around the league
Hall of Famer Dave Winfield has joined the Major League Baseball Players' Association staff as a special assistant to new executive director Tony Clark. ... Utility player Willie Bloomquist officially signed a two-year contract with the Mariners. ... Bats, gloves and jerseys used by the Red Sox during their World Series victory are among the memorabilia now on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. ... The Phillies signed catcher Wil Nieves to a $1.125 million, one-year contract.