Cruz agrees to two-year deal with Rangers

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Nelson Cruz seems to be a perfect fit for the Texas Rangers with his potent bat and big personality.

With hopes of staying together even longer, AL championship series MVP Cruz and two-time defending AL champion Texas avoided arbitration by agreeing Thursday to a $16 million, two-year contract.

“Nelson is a cornerstone of our team for what really marks the whole turnaround of the franchise. He been part of the winning core, he’s a huge part of that,” assistant general manager Thad Levine said. “He’s been big-time performer in the postseason. He’s part of the personality of this team, he plays the game with a ton of energy, a very dynamic player, true five-tool athlete.”

In last year’s six-game AL Championship Series against Detroit, Cruz had six home runs and 13 RBI, both major league records for a postseason series.

GIANTS: Finalized a $1 million, one-year contract with free agent reliever Guillermo Mota to bring him back for a third season.

The sides had agreed to terms in December. Mota has been added to the 40-man roster. Mota, a 38-year-old right-hander, has become a reliable option for manager Bruce Bochy. He went 2-2 with a 3.81 ERA in 52 outings last season.

ROYALS: Alex Gordon doesn’t know where negotiations stand on a long-term contract. He doesn’t even know how much he deserves to make after a breakout season with Kansas City.

All he knows is that he’s under contract for next season, and spring training is almost here.

“I don’t know what I should make, what I shouldn’t make. I just go out there, practice hard, work hard, and the games take care of themselves,” said Gordon, who avoided arbitration Thursday by agreeing to a $4,775,000 contract for 2012.

Gordon batted .303 with 23 homers and 87 RBI last year.

ORIOLES: Defeated Brad Bergesen in salary arbitration, giving clubs a 3-2 lead over players this year.

Bergesen will receive an $800,000 salary this year rather than his request for $1.2 million.

Bergesen was 2-7 with a 5.70 ERA last season.


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