Orioles “pushing to complete” extension with Nelson Cruz

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Baltimore got an incredible bargain by signing Nelson Cruz to a one-year, $8 million contract and now Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Orioles are “pushing to complete” an extension with the 33-year-old impending free agent.

Cruz’s price tag dropped because he was coming off a suspension last season and had draft pick compensation attached to his free agency. So the Orioles picked him up on the cheap and watched as he led the league with 40 homers and hit .271 with an .859 OPS that topped his career mark by 35 points.

Rosenthal reported earlier today that the Orioles were on the verge of signing impending free agent shortstop J.J. Hardy to a three-year extension worth at least $40 million, so apparently Baltimore’s front office is really taking advantage of the down time between the end of the ALDS and the start of the ALCS.

White Sox shut down Lucas Giolito for remainder of season

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The Athletic’s James Fegan reports that the White Sox are shutting down starter Lucas Giolito for the remainder of a season. An MRI revealed a mild lat strain, which typically comes with a three- to four-week recovery timetable. The third-place, 65-84 White Sox have nothing left to play for, so it makes sense to play it safe with their prized young hurler.

Giolito, 25, had a breakout season. He went 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA and a 228/57 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings. He made his first All-Star team and will likely earn a few downballot votes for the AL Cy Young Award.

Giolito was scheduled to start Tuesday’s series opener against the Twins. Ross Detwiler will start in his place opposite Martín Pérez.