The Royals and outfielder Jorge Soler avoided arbitration Friday, agreeing to a $7.3MM salary for 2020. That doesn’t preclude the club from signing Soler to a contract extension, though, and general manager Dayton Moore suggested there’s interest in locking up the soon-to-be 28-year-old slugger for the foreseeable future (via Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com). “Just because we exchange numbers doesn’t mean we can’t eventually do a multiyear deal,” Moore told Flanagan. “There’s no deadline on that.” Moore added that new owner John Sherman “has been extremely supportive in our vision to sign our young players to long-term deals.” Soler, a much-ballyhooed prospect when he signed with the Cubs out of Cuba in 2012, truly came into his own last season during a 48-home run campaign. And the Royals have Soler’s rights through 2021, so there’s still plenty of time for the two sides to work out a long-term arrangement. MLBTR’s Steve Adams explored a potential extension for Soler back in September.
Here’s more from around the majors…
- The Pirates have shown “at least modest interest in the third-base market,” Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. It seems adding a stopgap to help serve as a bridge to the Ke’Bryan Hayes era is possible. Speculatively, the likes of Brock Holt (a former Pirate whom new general manager Ben Cherington knows from Boston), Todd Frazier, Matt Duffy and Logan Forsythe are among the types who could interest Pittsburgh. But at least a couple of those players were no better in 2019 than incumbent starter Colin Moran, who was merely a replacement-level player across 503 plate appearances.
- Right-hander Jimmy Nelson inked a one-year, $1.25MM contract with the Dodgers earlier in the week, but they had competition from Seattle. Nelson was someone the Mariners targeted, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. He fit the profile of the low-risk, potentially high-reward type of starter the rebuilding Mariners seem to be seeking this offseason. They already landed Kendall Graveman several weeks ago, and have since shown interest in old friend Taijuan Walker. Johns highlights more possible options for the M’s in his piece.
- Cardinals outfielder/infielder Rangel Ravelo drew interest from a Korea Baseball Organization club earlier this offseason, but he’s staying put, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets. The 27-year-old Ravelo debuted in the majors last season, though he only collected 43 plate appearances and batted an unimposing .205/.256/.410. Nevertheless, the Cardinals are bullish enough on Ravelo that he has a legitimate chance to crack their 26-man roster this year, Goold suggests.