FEBRUARY 13: Talks between Cruz and Seattle are on hold, reports Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. With disagreement over contract value persisting, the club may be turning its attention to other priorities, says Cotillo.
FEBRUARY 8: It's only "a matter of time" before the Mariners agree to terms with Cruz, industry sources tell Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune (on Twitter).
FEBRUARY 7: The Mariners are still in talks with Cruz even after agreeing to a two-year, $14MM contract with Fernando Rodney, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Last night, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported that the Mariners were "all-in" following the Rodney signing and "cautiously optimistic" that they can land Cruz.
FEBRUARY 4: Talks between the Mariners and Nelson Cruz have gotten more serious in the past few days, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Seattle is believed to be open to offering a two-year deal and could possibly stretch to include an option or even a third guaranteed year, according to Heyman's report. Reports late last week indicated that the Mariners were preparing to make an offer to Cruz and agent Adam Katz of the Wasserman Media Group.
Seattle has the sixth overall selection in the 2014 draft, meaning its first-round pick is protected under Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement. The Mariners have also already forfeited their second round pick in signing Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240MM contract, meaning they'd "only" be looking at forfeiting their Competitive Balance round pick. Seattle won the final pick of Competitive Balance Round B in last summer's Competitive Balance lottery.
The Mariners have been reported as one of Cruz's primary suitors all offseason, though he's been connected to the Orioles heavily at times as well. Recent reports have suggested that he could be a fallback option for the Rangers on a one-year deal or that the Twins could show interest if his price dropped to the point where he fell into their laps (i.e. less than $10MM annually at a maximum of two years).