Three-time All-Star reliever Holland cut by Rangers; Gray off IL

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SEATTLE – Three-time All-Star reliever Greg Holland was designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers after allowing three home runs in his five appearances this season.

The 36-year-old Holland, who made the opening day roster after going to spring training on a minor league contract, had a 7.71 ERA in his 4 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked one.

He began the season with 9 years, 163 days of major league service. A full service year is 172 days, giving Holland enough days to days to reach 10 years of service and fully vest in the MLB pension plan.

Texas made the move before its game in Seattle, clearing a roster spot for No. 1 starter Jon Gray to be activated from the injured list and start the series opener against the Mariners. Gray signed a $56 million, four-year deal with Texas last December after his first seven big league seasons with Colorado.

Gray started the season opener for the Rangers, facing the minimum nine batters through three innings at Toronto on April 8, then allowed three runs in his fourth and final inning before departing with a blister on his right middle finger. The right-hander got a no-decision and went on the 10-day injured list the following day. Tuesday was the first day he could be activated.

Holland had eight saves and a 4.85 ERA in 57 appearances last season for Kansas City, with 8.57 strikeouts per nine innings and a .229 opponent batting average. He spent the past two seasons with the Royals, his second stint with the organization.

His contract with the Rangers had a $2.1 million base salary while in the majors. He was an AL All-Star with the Royals in 2013 and 2014, and an NL All-Star in 2017 when pitching for Colorado.

Orioles sign OF Aaron Hicks, put Cedric Mullins on 10-day IL with groin strain

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BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles signed outfielder Aaron Hicks less than 24 hours after Cedric Mullins went down with a strained right groin.

Mullins went on the 10-day injured list, but the Orioles are hoping Hicks can help defensively in the spacious outfield at Camden Yards. Hicks was released last week by the New York Yankees with more than 2 1/2 seasons left on his contract.

“We had noticed that he was a free agent even before the injury,” Orioles general manager Mike Elias said. “When the injury occurred and it became pretty clear this was going to be an IL, it seemed like a good fit even more so at that time.”

The Orioles are responsible for paying Hicks just $483,871, a prorated share of the $720,000 minimum salary. The Yankees owe him the rest of his $10.5 million salary this year, plus $9.5 million in each of the next two seasons and a $1 million buyout of a 2026 team option.

The 33-year-old Hicks hit just .188 in 28 games for the Yankees this year.

“We have stuff that we look at from a scouting and evaluation perspective,” Elias said. “It’s very different from just looking at the back of a baseball card, and we hope that we get a bounceback from anyone we bring here.”

Hicks batted .216 last season.

“Hopefully that’s a good thing for him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the Baltimore deal. “A lot of time here and a lot of good things happened for him here. I know the last couple of years have been a struggle. But hopefully it’s a good opportunity for him and certainly wish him well. Not too well being in our division and a team we’re chasing, but hopefully it’s a really good fit for him.”

Mullins left a loss to Cleveland after he pulled up while running out an infield grounder. Outfielder Colton Cowser – the fifth pick in the draft two years ago – is hitting .331 at Triple-A Norfolk, but he went on the IL in the past couple weeks.

“Certainly he was building a case towards promotion consideration prior to his injury and prior to Cedric’s injury,” Elias said. “We’ll just see where we’re at.”

Hicks was active for the game but not in the starting lineup. Austin Hays, normally Baltimore’s left field, was in Mullins’ usual spot in center.

When the wall in left at Camden Yards was pushed significantly back before last season, it made left field a bigger challenge defensively.

“In this park … you really need two center fielders,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Aaron’s got a lot of center-field experience. Played left field here before also. Brings the defensive aspect and then the switch-hitting.”