Mariners could be serious player for Josh Hamilton

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FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi wrote earlier today that free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton “is on the Orioles’ list of targets” this offseason. And he will apparently have another unexpected suitor.

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Mariners “look like a possible new entry” in the Hamilton sweepstakes. Something that M’s GM Jack Zduriencik did not completely deny:

“If the right bat’s available, we’re going to have to talk about it,” said Jack Z. “We’re going to have several discussions with agents. We have to be flexible.”

Hamilton would play left field in Seattle while adding power to a lineup that desperately needs it. But the Mariners haven’t spent big on many free agents and Hamilton is seeking more than $100 million.

The 31-year-old slugger has registered a remarkable .304/.363/.549 batting line since the start of the 2007 season. He hit .285/.354/.577 with 43 home runs and 128 RBI in 2012 for the second-place Rangers.

“Some or most of the Hamilton market may not surface for a while,” Heyman notes in his report.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.