Nationals sign Alex Cora to a minor league contract

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Last week the Nationals were said to be targeting Jerry Hairston Jr. as their utility man replacement for Willie Harris, who signed a minor-league deal with the Mets.

However, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com they turned their attention to Alex Cora because “some in the organization believe [Hairston’s] asking price would be too steep” and Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Cora has agreed to a minor-league contract that would be worth $900,000 plus $600,000 in potential incentives if he makes the team.

Of course, the reason Cora’s asking price isn’t as steep is that he isn’t as good. Or good, period.

Cora hit .210 with a .266 on-base percentage and .278 slugging percentage in 194 plate appearances for the Mets and Rangers last season, and also batted just .251/.320/.310 in 308 trips to the plate for the Mets in 2009. And at age 35 he’s no longer a reliable option defensively at shortstop, making him a bottom-of-the-barrel utility man target.

Reports: Dylan Moore, Mariners agree to nearly $8.9M deal

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
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SEATTLE — Dylan Moore and the Seattle Mariners agreed to a three-year contract worth $8,875,000, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity night because the agreement had not been announced.

Moore had asked for a raise from $1.35 million to $2.25 million, and the Mariners had offered $1.9 million when proposed arbitration figures were exchanged on Jan. 13.

The 30-year-old utilityman would have been eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series, but the new agreement pushes that back a year.

Moore played every position except pitcher and catcher last year, including 39 games in right field, seven in center, 18 in left, two at third base, 26 at shortstop, 12 at second, eight at first and three at designated hitter.

He is expected to play more second base this season, sharing time with Kolten Wong, and also is likely to spell J.P. Crawford at shortstop.

Moore was selected by Texas in the seventh round of the 2015 amateur draft, traded to Atlanta a year later and then released by the Braves in March 2018. He signed with Milwaukee, was released at the end of the season and then signed with Seattle that November.

Moore made his big league debut in March 2019 when Seattle played Oakland in Tokyo.

He hit .224 with six homers and 24 RBIs last year, down from 12 homers, 43 RBIs and a .181 batting average in 2021. Moore is a .208 career hitter with 35 homers and 112 RBIs.

Seattle defeated Diego Castillo in the first salary arbitration decision this year, and the relief pitcher will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

Outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, acquired by the Mariners from Toronto, also remains on track for a hearing. He asked for a raise from $10.65 million to $16 million, and Seattle offered $14 million.