Bud Selig reportedly rejected an offer of a five-year contract extension

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Maybe it means he’s really serious about retiring this time. Maybe he’s holding out for a Pujols-deal. Heyman:

According to two ownership sources, Selig was actually offered a five-year extension when he signed the two-year deal a year ago, and without hesitation he took the two instead. When the term expires, he’ll be 80, and word is he figured that was a nice round number.

Selig wouldn’t comment about the decision to take the much shorter deal. But he was firm on the phone about the next one, the call to retire in 21 months.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’ll believe Selig is retired the day a new, permanent commissioner is hired and not a day before.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.