Rangers close to signing Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin

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According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram the Rangers are close to signing outfielder Leonys Martin, who was declared a free agent last month after defecting from Cuba in 2010.

No word yet on how much the Rangers would be shelling out sign the 23-year-old, but last year John Manuel of Baseball America speculated that Martin “figures to garner a seven-figure signing bonus once he establishes residency and becomes a free agent.”

Here’s an excerpt from Manuel’s scouting report:

He’s a left-handed hitter whose best tools are his speed and defense. He’s a plus runner at least, being timed in 4.1 seconds to first base from the left side … and showed strong small-ball skills, with the ability to drag bunt for hits and handle the bat on the hit-and-run. He also played center field and showed at least average range.

Sounds like an intriguing player, particularly with the Rangers’ current speedy center fielder, Julio Borbon, struggling so much defensively. Wilson writes that Martin would likely start out in the minors, but he’s seemingly not far from being MLB-ready.

Tyson Ross loses no-hitter with two outs in the eighth inning

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UPDATE, 11:58 PM ET: Ross lost the no-hit bid with one out remaining in the eighth inning. Christian Walker worked a 2-0 count against the right-hander, the doubled to center field to break up the bid and score Deven Marrero. The Padres are tied 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth.

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Padres right-hander Tyson Ross has pitched 7 1/3 innings of no-hit ball against the Diamondbacks in Friday’s game. He’s expended 124 pitches so far, the only blemish on his pitching line a handful of walks to Jarrod Dyson, Paul Goldschmidt and Nick Ahmed in the first, seventh and eighth innings, respectively.

Through just over seven innings, Ross whiffed 10 of 25 batters. He’s working with just one run of support: a mammoth 489-foot solo home run from Franchy Cordero in the third.

Should Ross complete the no-no, he’ll be the first pitcher to do so in the club’s 49-year history. The last major-league pitcher to record a no-hitter was Marlins right-hander Edinson Volquez, who held the Diamondbacks hitless last June.

We’ll keep you updated as the game progresses.