UPDATE II: The deal is for $16 million.
UPDATE: Deal done. Terms aren’t yet available.
8:50 AM: The Dallas Morning News reports that Nelson Cruz is close to signing a two-year deal with the Rangers, which would avoid arbitration. They have a hearing set for Monday in which he is seeking $7.5 million. Texas has countered with $5.5 million.
Cruz hit .263/.312/.509 with 29 HR and 87 RBI in 475 at bats. He misses a lot of time — he has never played in more than 128 games — but locking him up on a short term deal now probably saves the Rangers a good bit of money over what they’d have to pay in arbitration.
Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports that Mets second baseman Neil Walker is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to fix a herniated disk in his lower back. Walker has avoided the disabled list but hasn’t played since last Saturday and has only two starts since August 22.
If Walker does indeed go under the knife, he’ll end his first season with the Mets with a terrific .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. While the Mets couldn’t have foreseen Daniel Murphy having such a terrific season, Walker was more than adequate in Murphy’s shoes at second base.
Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores have handled second base in Walker’s absence and will continue to do so through the remainder of the season.
Rockies 1B/OF Stephen Cardullo celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday, so the rookie decided to celebrate by homering in both games of his team’s doubleheader at home against the Dodgers.
In the first game, Cardullo pinch-hit for Chris Rusin in the seventh inning and drilled a solo home run off of Casey Fien. In the second game, Cardullo smacked a grand slam to left-center field off of Bud Norris in the first inning.
Cardullo made his major league debut this past Friday. He was hitless in his first five at-bats before singling as a pinch-hitter on Monday.