Nelson Cruz, Rangers reach a two-year deal avoiding arbitration

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UPDATE II:  The deal is for $16 million.

UPDATE: Deal done. Terms aren’t yet available.

8:50 AM: The Dallas Morning News reports that Nelson Cruz is close to signing a two-year deal with the Rangers, which would avoid arbitration. They have a hearing set for Monday in which he is seeking $7.5 million. Texas has countered with $5.5 million.

Cruz hit .263/.312/.509 with 29 HR and 87 RBI in 475 at bats. He misses a lot of time — he has never played in more than 128 games — but locking him up on a short term deal now probably saves the Rangers a good bit of money over what they’d have to pay in arbitration.

Clay Buchholz makes first major league start in over a year

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The Diamondbacks selected the contract of pitcher Clay Buchholz from Triple-A Reno ahead of Sunday’s game against the Mets. It marked Buchholz’s first major league start since April 11 last season (also against the Mets) when he was a member of the Phillies. Shortly after that start, he was diagnosed with a partial tear of his flexor pronator mass and he ended up not being able to pitch the rest of the season.

Buchholz signed a minor league deal with the Royals but he opted out of his contract at the beginning of this month. The Diamondbacks signed him to a minor league deal a few days later, needing depth with a depleted starting rotation. Buchholz made two starts for Reno before getting the call Sunday.

Buchholz, 33, pitched well on Sunday against the Mets, lasting five innings and limiting the opposition to a run on two hits and a walk with two strikeouts. His only blemish was allowing a solo home run to Amed Rosario leading off the sixth. He was immediately relieved by T.J. McFarland afterwards.

It is not yet clear if Buchholz will get another turn through the D-Backs’ rotation.