Free agent Nelson Cruz and the Orioles have reached agreement on a one-year deal, giving the slugger a fresh start after his drug suspension.
A person familiar with the agreement told the Associated Press Saturday the outfielder will earn about $8.5 million, and can make more in performance bonuses.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract wasn’t complete.
The 33-year-old Cruz was suspended 50 games last year while with the Rangers as a result of Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis drug scandal. He returned from the penalty in time to play one game — he went 0 for 4 in the Rangers’ loss to Tampa Bay in a tiebreaker for the second AL wild-card spot.
Baltimore began full-squad workouts at spring training earlier this week, and Cruz was among the last prominent free agents to find a team.
Manager Buck Showalter’s team opened camp still in need of a designated hitter, preferably someone to join big league home run champion Chris Davis in the lineup. Cruz may well find the cozy dimensions at Camden Yards to his liking — he is a career .333 hitter with two homers and nine RBIs in 81 at-bats at the ballpark.
Cruz hit .266 with 27 homers and 76 RBIs in 109 games last year. He’s averaged 27 homers in the last five seasons.
Bonds to instruct
All-time home run leader Barry Bonds is returning to the Giants as a spring training instructor. The Giants say Bonds is expected to arrive at camp in Scottsdale, Ariz., during the second week of March.
Manager Bruce Bochy says he’s looking forward to having Bonds in camp and thinks he can help the hitters. Bonds, 49, spent his last 15 seasons with the Giants, finishing in 2007. He has not been elected to the Hall of Fame, with many voters saying his numbers were boosted by performance-enhancing drugs. Bonds set major league records with 762 career home runs and 73 in 2001.
Dodgers sign SS
The Dodgers signed Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena to a five-year contract.
Reports said the contract is worth $25 million, including a $7.5 million signing bonus.
‘‘We think he adds to our major league club at some point this year,’’ Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said.
The 23-year-old infielder defected from Cuba last fall, establishing residency in Haiti. He has been working out in the Dominican Republic, according to Colletti.
Garcia to have exam
Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia will return to St. Louis Sunday to have doctors examine his surgically repaired throwing shoulder, making it unlikely he'll be ready for the start of the season. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak made the announcement.
Garcia underwent season-ending surgery last year after shoulder pain. His throwing sessions this spring training had been going well until his last outing, when the pain returned.
At Port St. Lucie, Fla., Mets ace Matt Harvey threw for the first time since having elbow ligament-replacement surgery. The righthander threw 20 times from 60 feet to a bullpen catcher . . . Padres third baseman Chase Headley will be sidelined a couple of weeks because of a strained right calf. Headley was injured in a rundown drill Saturday morning . . . Rangers catcher Geovany Soto had arthroscopic surgery to remove a small bone from his left foot. Soto had the surgery a day after returning to Texas from camp in Surprise, Ariz., to be examined by a specialist for what the team had called an Achilles’ issue. The Rangers expect Soto to be ready for the regular season . . . Former Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey agreed to a minor-league contract with the Yankees, according to an ESPN report . . . Yankees outfielder Alfonso Soriano missed his third straight spring training workout because of the flu and will be evaluated Monday . . . Marlins pitcher Henderson Alvarez brought his wife and infant daughter to Miami from Caracas to keep them away from the violent and deadly protests in his native Venezuela . . . Major league teams will each have at least five games this spring in which managers can challenge plays as part of the major expansion of instant replay, which begins this season.