Report: Mariners could target Cameron over Bay

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FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mariners may prefer Mike Cameron to Jason Bay as they seek to fill their void in left field.
Sources told Rosenthal that the Mariners’ interest in Bay has been “overstated,” and that the team is concerned about how his glove would play in Safeco’s big left field. GM Jack Zduriencik has emphasized defense repeatedly since taking over the team and may well prefer Cameron on a short-term deal than Bay on a contract that would almost surely last four or five years.
If the Mariners aren’t going to make a push for Bay, that would seem to leave the Angels as the top competitor with the Red Sox for his services.
Rosenthal lists the Cubs, Red Sox and Yankees as other suitors for Cameron, though the Yanks would seem to have him on the backburner now that they have Curtis Granderson to start in center. Perhaps they’d still consider him if Johnny Damon leaves, but Cameron seems likely to sign before Damon does. It’s been assumed that the Cubs would snatch him up quickly if they could just move Milton Bradley first.

Martin Maldonado and Willson Contreras say they’re willing to pay fines rather than follow new mound visit rule

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On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.

Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”

Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.

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Update (4:43 PM ET): In response to this, Manfred said that if a catcher or coach made a seventh mound visit, there would have to be a pitching change (via Fletcher). However, chief baseball officer Joe Torre said (via SB Nation’s Eric Stephen) that the seventh visit cannot trigger a pitching change. The umpire would simply have to prevent the seventh mound visit.