Mariners sign Dominican outfielder for $2.2 million

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Anteing up $3.5 million to add talent to a system dearly in need of it, the Mariners signed three 16-year-olds out of Latin America to minor league contracts on Thursday, Baseball America reports.
Chief among the players was outfielder Phillips Castillo, a native of the Dominican Republic who signed for $2.2 million. The hope is that he’ll blossom into a major league right fielder with 25- or 30-homer power.
The Mariners also added RHP Jose Torres of Colombia for $851,000 and third baseman Yordyn Calderon from Venezuela for $477,500.
Castillo’s bonus is tied for the third-highest handed out to a Latin player so far this year, behind the $2.8 million RHP Adonis Cardona received from the Blue Jays and the approx. $2.7 million outfielder Ariel Ovando got from Houston. It matches the $2.2 million that third baseman Renato Nunez received from Oakland.
Still available is Dominican shortstop Esteilon Peguero, a player many expect will get the biggest bonus of the class.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.