The Rangers are in the market for an infielder

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While Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram poured some cold water on Craig’s report about Roy Oswalt, he added that the Rangers have spoken with the Orioles about Ty Wigginton and the Marlins about Wes Helms. The club is currently seeking a right-handed bat to serve as the primary backup at first base and third base.

It makes plenty of sense for the Rangers to get some sort of veteran steward behind rookie first baseman Justin Smoak. We’re still talking about a pretty small sample size here, but the 23-year-old switch-hitter is batting .272/.395/.466 in 103 at-bats against right-handers compared to a meager .096/.186/.192 triple-slash in 52 at-bats against southpaws. He put up similar splits on the minor league level, so it would behoove them to acquire a complimentary right-handed bat if they hope to contend in the American League West.

Just earlier today, Aaron mentioned that the Rangers were in the mix for Conor Jackson while on Friday, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported that the Rangers were still in talks to acquire Mike Lowell from the Red Sox. Boy, those crazy kids have quickly become the best “will they or won’t they” storyline since Jim and Pam. Synergy, folks!

Report: Mark Trumbo signs three-year, $37.5 million contract with Orioles

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.

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Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.

Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.

Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.

Astros avoid arbitration with Mike Fiers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Starting pitcher Mike Fiers #54 of the Houston Astros walks to the dugout after pitching an inning during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 17, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Astros won the game 2-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.

Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.

Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.