MLB notebook: Cruz says he’d like to return to Orioles |
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Speaking publicly for the first time since becoming a free agent, Nelson Cruz re-emphasized that remaining with the Orioles is his priority.

In an interview with MLB Network Radio on Wednesday afternoon, Cruz said there have been discussions with the Orioles but none he would describe as serious.

“No doubt it’s my first choice,” Cruz said. “If we can work something, I’d be more than happy to come back.”

The Orioles made Cruz, who led the majors with a career-high 40 homers, a qualifying offer of $15.3 million for 2015. He has until Monday to accept the offer, but it appears he will decline it in pursuit of a multiyear deal.

Cruz said the Orioles also remain his top choice because he believes they will stay competitive and he wants to play for a winner.

Report: Rockies could deal Tulowitzki

Fox Sports reported the Rockies have their “eyes and ears open” for potential trades involving shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. The team is not shopping the duo, though new GM Jeff Bridich apparently has convinced owner Dick Monfort to listen to offers.

Colorado has been hesitant to trade Tulowitzki and Gonzalez in recent years, though they are getting more expensive and team still isn’t contending.

Marlins, Stanton talking

Contract talks have started between Giancarlo Stanton and the Marlins, who are prepared to offer a multiyear deal that would be a big departure for the historically thrifty franchise.

President of baseball operations Mike Hill declined to say whether the Marlins have made an offer, but they’ve begun discussions with agent Joel Wolfe regarding an agreement with the All-Star right fielder.

Even if Stanton rejects the Marlins’ offer, he’s expected to play for Miami next year and doesn’t become a free agent until after the 2016 season.

Around the league

The Rays traded left-hander Cesar Ramos to the Angels for minor league righty Mark Sappington. … The Astros acquired catcher Hank Conger from the Angels for right-hander Nick Tropeano and minor league catcher Carlos Perez. … Former major league pitcher Brad Halsey died in a recreational climbing accident. He was 33. Halsey went 14-19 in 88 games with the Yankees, Arizona and Oakland from 2004-06. … Free agent pitcher Troy Patton was suspended for 80 games following a positive test for an amphetamine under MLB’s drug program. The positive test was the 29-year-old left-hander’s third for an amphetamine.

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