Apparently, Gary Sheffield is an agent

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That veteran right-hander Josh Banks signed a minor league deal with the Orioles on Tuesday will go unnoticed by most and rightfully so, but there was an interesting footnote to the story: Banks’ deal was negotiated by former major leaguer Gary Sheffield.

“[Sheffield] brought him here,” Baltimore VP of baseball operation Dan Duquette said, “because he sees the opportunity for pitchers to help our major league team. So Gary’s been paying attention, I’ll tell you that.”

According to the Baltimore Sun article, Sheffield also represents Pirates right-hander Jason Grilli.

Sheffield may seem an unlikely agent given his lack of a college education and his occasional clashes with management as a player, but he does have experience: he negotiated his own three-year, $39 million deal with the Yankees in the 2003 offseason.

Sheffield retired from baseball a year ago after sitting out the 2010 season. A nine-time All-Star, he hit .292/.393/.514 with 509 homers and 1,676 RBI in 22 seasons.

Banks, for the record, is 4-8 with a 5.66 ERA in parts of four major league seasons.

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.