A person familiar with the negotiations says Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas is in the process of agreeing to a $68.5 million, six-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the deal had not yet been completed. The person said several additional steps were necessary but the agreement was likely to be finalized in the next few days.
MLB.com reported Wednesday a deal had been agreed to. Tomas, 24, hit .375 (6 for 16) for Cuba with two homers and five RBIs in last year's World Baseball Classic.
He would join an outfield hampered last season by injuries to Mark Trumbo (stress fracture in left foot) and A.J. Pollock (broken right hand), who both missed about half the season. Trumbo, Ender Inciarte and Cody Ross have been Arizona's top projected corner outfielders.
Arizona went a major league-worst 64-98 last season, fired manager Kirk Gibson and reassigned general manager Kevin Towers, who left to becomes a Cincinnati Reds' special assistant. Former big league pitcher Dave Stewart was hired as the Diamondbacks' GM under Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa and Chip Hale took over as manager.
In Stewart's first major move, Arizona acquired pitcher Jeremy Hellickson from Tampa for a pair of minor league prospects.
In total dollars among Cuban players, Tomas' deal would fall just short of the $72.5 million, seven-year contract agreed to in August between outfielder Rusney Castillo and the Boston Red Sox. The $11.42 million average would be just above first baseman Jose Abreu's $11.33 million average in the $68 million, six-year deal he agreed to with the Chicago White Sox in October 2011. Abreu went on to win AL Rookie of the Year.
An array of delays has forced the Chicago Cubs to make contingency plans in the event that construction on the Wrigley Field outfield bleachers isn't completed by the April 5 season opener against the National League Central champion St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cubs, already under a tight schedule, have been hindered by an aging pipe system under Sheffield Avenue that has prevented construction crews from starting deep foundation work. The work was scheduled to be completed in early October, as city water crews continue to work on installing a new water main.
Meanwhile, construction crews continue to perform work on the bleachers, but the speed of the work is dependent on the progress of the installation of the new water main.
The Orioles have acquired left-handed reliever Scott Barnes from the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations, the club announced.
Barnes, 27, didn't pitch in the major leagues this past season, spending the entire year with the Indians' Triple-A team in Columbus, Ohio. He went 3-2 with a 3.69 ERA in 25 appearances, all but one in coming in relief.
Barnes held opposing hitters to a .193 batting average in 2014, getting both left-handed (.191 average) and right-handed (.194) batters out with success. He also averaged 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings, posting 35 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings pitched.