UPDATE: Angels reach one-year, $3M deal with Hawkins

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From FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal comes word that the Angels are closing in on a contract agreement with free agent reliever LaTroy Hawkins.

The Brewers and Rockies have also expressed interest in recent weeks, but it sounds as though Anaheim’s offer will ultimately prove victorious.

Hawkins, 38, posted a sparkling 2.42 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 48 1/3 innings for the NL Central-champion Brewers this past season, striking out 28 batters and walking only 10. The Angels will hope that he can serve as a reliable setup man — and mentor — to young closer Jordan Walden in 2012.

UPDATE: The Orange County Register‘s Bill Plunkett says the two sides have reached agreement.

UPDATE II: According to Scott Miller of CBS Sports, the deal is worth $3 million for one year.

Report: Mariners sign Juan Nicasio to two-year deal

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Mariners have signed pitcher Juan Nicasio to a two-year contract, pending a physical.

Nicasio, 31, spent last season with the Pirates, Phillies, and Cardinals, putting up an aggregate 2.61 ERA with a 72/20 K/BB ratio in 72 1/3 innings. He appeared in 76 games, leading the National League.

Nicasio will help bolster the Mariners’ bullpen behind closer Edwin Diaz. It’s not known exactly what role he’ll have but it seems reasonable to assume he’ll handle mostly the seventh inning while Nick Vincent will set up for Diaz. Nicasio does have plenty of starting experience so he could also spot start in a pinch.