Busy Mariners add pieces to a strengthening AL West

12/11/2013 9:10 PM

12/11/2013 11:12 PM

The following are a few of the names have been added to the American League West this off-season: Prince Fielder, Robinson Cano, Josh Johnson, Scott Kazmir, David Freese, Corey Hart, Logan Morrison.

Seattle was busy again Wednesday at the winter meetings, signing free-agent first baseman Corey Hart and trading for outfielder Logan Morrison. The Mariners agreed last week with All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano.

In the eyes of Texas Rangers manager Jon Daniels, a competitive division is getting tougher and tougher.

“There’s probably been as many moves as anybody,” Daniels said. “Even before the Cano deal, Seattle had a lot of talent and flexibility. That’s a good combination. Houston’s got a lot of talent, too.”

Hart was a Rangers target as a possible right-handed complement to Mitch Moreland at designated hitter. Though he missed all of 2013 after surgery on both knees, Hart would make up to $13 million on his one-year deal.

The two moves by the Mariners reportedly eliminates them from the Shin-Soo Choo sweepstakes, but they’re not necessarily out on Nelson Cruz.

Colon goes elsewhere

Bartolo Colon, who drew interest from the Rangers, has agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with the New York Mets.

The right-hander, who turned 40 this year, went 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA for Oakland, and had been seeking a two-year deal all along. The Rangers had interest in him on only a one-year contract.

The Mets, once strapped for cash, have already signed outfielder Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million deal.

Collisions banned

MLB’s rules committee has voted to eliminate collisions at home plate between base runners and catchers, a decision that had been anticipated since gaining steam late month at the GM meetings.

The rule hasn’t been finalized, and needs approval of the players union, but the intent is to reduce injuries to catchers and runners. Mets GM Sandy Alderson, who heads the committee, said that the rule could be in place for 2014.

Briefly

• Angels: Los Angeles reportedly was closing in on a deal for 41-year-old outfielder/designated hitter Raul Ibanez, a free agent. The Angels traded away one of their top power hitters, Mark Trumbo, on Tuesday.

• Astros: Houston, which had already signed right-hander Scott Feldman and traded for outfielder Dexter Fowler, struck a trade with San Diego for right-hander Anthony Bass for a player to be named or cash.

• Nationals: Washington found a left-hander for its bullpen in a trade with Oakland, acquiring Jerry Blevins for minor league outfielder Billy Burns. Burns swiped 74 bases this year. The A’s could put Drew Pomeranz, acquired Tuesday in a trade with Colorado, in the bullpen.

• Pirates: Pittsburgh bolstered its rotation by signing right-hander Charlie Morton, despite having durability issues the past two seasons, to a three-year, $21 million contract extension, and by agreeing with former Rangers prospect Edinson Volquez on a one-year, $5 million deal.

• Rule 5 draft: Though they have an opening on their 40-man roster, the Rangers indicated that they aren’t likely to add a player Thursday during the Rule 5 draft. They lost Chris McGinnis last year, but he was returned after not making Cleveland’s roster.

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