Cardinals nearing minor league contract with Alex Cora

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Big news this Super Bowl Sunday. OK, not quite.

According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Cardinals are nearing agreement on a minor league deal with 36-year-old free agent infielder Alex Cora.

It’s not clear whether the pact will include an invitation to spring training, but Cora would be doutbful to crack St. Louis’ Opening Day roster anyway. He batted just .224/.287/.276 with zero homers and six RBI in 172 plate appearances last season and owns a dreadful .648 career OPS.

The Cardinals are likely to roll with an infield of David Freese (3B), Rafael Furcal (SS), Daniel Descalso (2B) and Lance Berkman (1B) this season, with Tyler Greene and Skip Schumaker serving as backups.

The Baltimore Orioles did not try to get Shohei Ohtani . . . out of principle

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Shohei Ohtani made it pretty clear early in the posting process that he was not going to consider east coast teams. As such, it’s understandable if east coast teams didn’t stop all work in order to put together an Ohtani pitch before he signed with the Angels. The Baltimore Orioles, however, didn’t do so for a somewhat different reason than all of the other also-rans.

Their reason, as explained by general manager Dan Duquette on MLB Network Radio yesterday was “because philosophically we don’t participate on the posting part of it.” Suggesting that, as a matter of policy, they will not even attempt to sign Japanese players via the posting system.

Like I said, that probably didn’t make a hill of beans’ difference when it came to Ohtani, who was unlikely to give the O’s the time of day. I find it really weird, though, that the Orioles would totally reject the idea of signing Japanese players via the posting system on policy grounds. None of their opponents are willing to unilaterally disarm in that fashion, I presume.

More than that, though, why would you make that philosophy public? Don’t you want your rivals to think you’re in competition with them in all facets of the game? Don’t you want your fans to think that you’ll stop at nothing to improve the team?

An odd thing to say for Duquette. I don’t know quite why he’d say such a thing.