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Originally published Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 7:27 PM

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Orioles land free-agent slugger Cruz for $8.75M

The Baltimore Orioles’ sudden spring training spending spree continued Saturday as the club agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz.


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SARASOTA, Fla. — The Baltimore Orioles’ sudden spring-training spending spree continued Saturday as the club agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz, according to industry sources.

The deal, which is pending a physical, is worth $8 million with $750,000 in incentives, according to a source.

After spending much of the offseason in a holding pattern, the Orioles’ acquisition of Cruz would be their third free-agent acquisition in the past week, raising their projected opening-day payroll to approximately $105 million — the highest in franchise history.

Over the past week, the Orioles also signed right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, one of the top free-agent arms on the market, to a $50 million, four-year deal. South Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon got a $5.575 million, three-year deal.

Cruz, 33, is coming off a season in which he served a 50-game suspension for violation of baseball’s drug policy for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. He hit .266 with 27 homers and 76 runs batted in in 109 games for Texas.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Barry Bonds is all set to return to the San Francisco Giants. As a spring-training instructor, that is.

The all-time home-run leader who never officially retired is expected to arrive during the second week of March. Manager Bruce Bochy said he’s looking forward to having the 49-year-old Bonds in camp and thinks he can help the hitters.

Notes

• Free-agent designated hitter Kendrys Morales, right-hander Ervin Santana and shortstop Stephen Drew remain unsigned.

• Texas Rangers catcher Geovany Soto had arthroscopic surgery to remove a small bone from his left foot.

• The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena to a $25 million, five-year contract.

• San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley is expected to be sidelined two weeks because of a strained right calf.

• Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia will return to St. Louis to have doctors examine his surgically repaired throwing shoulder, making it unlikely he’ll be ready for the start of the season.



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