Cruz had a career year in Baltimore with 40 homers and 108 RBI in 2014, and the M's are hoping he can provide the right-handed power they've been lacking, signing Cruz to a four-year deal worth $57 million. Baltimore had reportedly offered him a three-year deal, but since Cruz denied his qualifying offer, they'll receive a draft pick from Seattle.
Saunders was a target of a few rosterbators here, but instead he went to Toronto in exchange for lefty J.A. Happ. Saunders was limited to 78 games in 2014 because of two DL trips. He did hit .273, but his overall career numbers (.231/.301/.384) leave a lot to be desired. Happ will join a rotation that will likely not have Chris Young in it come 2015.
Derek Jeter's replacement just arrived in New York. The D-backs traded their shortstop to the Yankees, who traded pitcher Shane Greene to Detroit, who traded pitching prospect Robbie Ray and a minor-league infielder to Arizona. Jeter and Gregorius are polar opposites: Jeter was a great hitter and a poor fielder; Gregorius is a great fielder and a poor hitter. Gregorius joins reliever Andrew Miller, who signed a four-year contract worth $36 million.
Hunter was formally introduced on Wednesday after signing a one-year deal with his original team. During the press conference, however, one Twins beat writer thought it was a good idea to bring up Hunter's endorsement of Arkansas governor-elect Asa Hutchinson and his stance against same-sex marriage, suggesting that to be the reason for his lack of suitors. Hunter didn't appreciate that and called the guy a "prick" several times for it. I thought this reporter was out of line. What business is it of his what Torii Hunter's beliefs are?
Cash, a former major-league catcher with the Rays, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees and Astros, was chosen over former Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu as one of the final two candidates for the vacancy left by Joe Maddon. Cash had been the bullpen catcher for the Indians the last two years. Today is also his 37th birthday.
Fernandez is one of the best young pitchers today, and is worth every bit of the $40 million. The thing is, he's rehabbing from TJ surgery, which makes this extension a considerable risk. There's no guarantee he'll return to form and plus, he's a Boras client.