Source: Harden to join Rangers on one-year, $7.5 million deal

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Update 2: Craig has confirmed that the deal is with the Rangers. One year, $7.5 million with the option for 2011.
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Update: Craig’s source is hearing one-year, $7.5 million with an $11.5 million option for 2011. Possibly with the Mariners.
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Sources are telling ESPN’s Buster Olney that free agent Rich Harden is on the verge of an agreement with a mystery team.
Speculation had the Rangers being very interested in Harden if they could move Kevin Millwood first, so given the timing, Texas would seem to be a possibility. The Red Sox, Yankees and Mariners are among the other teams considering Harden, who is believed to be willing to accept a one-year deal so that he can attempt to rebuild his value and go back onto the market.

Cardinals shut down Carlos Martínez for two weeks due to shoulder issue

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh reports that the Cardinals are shutting down pitcher Carlos Martínez from throwing for two weeks because his shoulder strength isn’t where it should have been at this point. Langosch added that an MRI showed no structural damage in Martínez’s right shoulder.

Interestingly, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t sound too happy with Martínez offseason training regimen. Per Mark Saxon of The Athletic, Mozeliak said, “Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to that program.”

Martínez, 27, battled oblique and shoulder injuries last year. He accrued just 118 2/3 innings, making just 18 starts. He was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the disabled list in August and finished out the season in that role. Still, Martínez managed a 3.11 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 60 walks.

Langosch reported last week that the Cardinals were considering using Martínez in relief again in 2019. The latest news may push the Cardinals to indeed use Martínez out of the bullpen once again. He will be reevaluated in early March, but there is a chance he won’t be ready for Opening Day.