UPDATE: Mariners planning to offer nine years, $225 million to Robinson Cano

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UPDATE: The Mariners may not have offered $200 million to Robinson Cano yet, but it sounds like it’s going to happen before long.

David Waldstein of the New York Times and CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman are both reporting that the Mariners plan to offer nine years and $225 million to Cano. This is a slightly different number than what was reported by Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes earlier this afternoon, but it’s still likely higher than where the Yankees are willing to go.

Nine years and $225 million would give Cano an AAV (average annual value) of $25 million, tying him with Ryan Howard, Josh Hamilton, and Felix Hernandez for the fifth-highest in MLB history.

6:36 p.m. ET: Don’t rule out Robinson Cano’s return to the Yankees just yet.

Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes made some waves earlier this afternoon when he reported that Robinson Cano was on a plane to Seattle and that the Mariners were willing to bid $230-240 million over 10 years in order to sign him. However, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal hears that no such offer has been made. At least not yet.

In other words, Cano is aiming to land the same contract that Albert Pujols received from the Angels (10 years, $240 million) two offseasons ago. Only two deals in MLB history have been richer, both of them for Alex Rodriguez, first with the Rangers in December of 2000 ($252 million) and later with the Yankees in December of 2007 ($275 million). The Mariners are obviously interested in making a big splash this winter, but they’ll likely have to blow the Yankees out of the water to have a chance. $240 million would probably do just that, but we’re not sure it’s actually on the table.

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.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.