Heyman: Robinson Cano, Yankees far apart on extension

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Jon Heyman of CBS Sports suggests second baseman Robinson Cano and the Yankees are far apart on terms of a contract extension, making it increasingly likely that Cano will head into free agency after the season.

Heyman writes:

They may well talk, but it remains uncertain whether they have anything to talk about — making free agency a very likely outcome for the Yankees’ star second baseman at this point.

That doesn’t mean he won’t end up with the Yankees — word from other players is that the Yankees remain by far and away Cano’s preference, no surprise — it just means there’s a very good chance he won’t have a new deal with anyone until at least November or perhaps later.

Cano is earning $15 million this year, the second of two option years that were part of the four-year $30 million contract he signed in February 2008 to avoid arbitration. Most estimates have him earning in the neighborhood of $200 million. He will turn 31 in October, meaning his contract will take him through most of his late-30’s.

Adrian Beltre cleared for extended spring training

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Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.

Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.

Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.

Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.

Michael Bourn opts out of his minor league deal with the Orioles

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Outfielder Michael Bourn was traded by the Diamondbacks to the Orioles late last season and hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with them through the end of the season. While that’s not enough to outweigh the miserable season he had in Arizona, it was enough to get the O’s to give him a look in spring training with a minor league deal. They signed him to one in late February.

Then, a couple of days later, Bourn broke his finger while playing catch with a football. Unable to play, the O’s cut him. In early April, once Bourn healed, the O’s signed him again. He played 11 games for their Triple-A affiliate and went 9-for-41 with ten walks in 51 plate appearances. While that makes for a decent OBP, his lack of any sort of pop or good contact suggests that if someone throws him strikes, he can’t do much with the ball.

As such, the O’s had not called him up to Baltimore. And as a result of that, Bourn exercised his opt-out rights and became a free agent.

Someone may take a look at him given that his batting eye seems to be intact and given that, in an admittedly small sample size, he still performed last season. But if he does get a look, it’ll likely be back at the minor league level.