Latin Links: Liriano, Ruiz, Ramirez, Garcia

News from sources that use subjunctive tenses. Links are in Spanish…

  • Francisco Liriano tells Hoy's Dionisio Soldevila he seriously considered retirement eight months after his elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2006. He also gives perhaps his clearest rejection yet of the idea that he take the John Smoltz route and step into Joe Nathan's slot as closer. "I don't want to be a closer," Liriano says. "I don't know if I'm ready to roll out there three or four times a week." After a dominant winter in the Dominican and a reportedly resurgent fastball this spring, Liriano is currently manager Ron Gardenhire's pick for the fifth spot in the Twins rotation.
  • Two weeks after his acrimonious split from agent Jorge Luis Toca, Cuban prospect Jose Julio Ruiz has surfaced again. Representatives from 22 teams recently watched Ruiz and fellow new Legacy Sports client Yadil Mujica at a staged tryout in the Dominican Republic, writes Jorge Ebro at the Nuevo Herald. The Blue Jays, Red Sox, Rangers, and Rays have all reportedly made offers to the left-handed first baseman this winter, all at around $2MM. The Rays at minimum can likely be crossed off the list of Ruiz's potential suitors after the team signed Leslie Anderson.
  • Rangers prospect Max Ramirez is getting more serious about moving to first, just like Mike Lowell, the player for whom Ramirez was almost traded earlier this winter. "I played a fair amount of first (base) in Venezuela," Ramirez tells Lider en Deportes' Carlos Rodriguez. "I didn't do it as much in the minors, but I've improved and I feel good." Ramirez, who is currently blocked at catcher by Taylor Teagarden and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, has been mentioned as a possible solution to the Rangers' seeming shortage of reserve corner infielders. He played 23 innings at first during a brief 2008 call-up.
  • White Sox fifth starter Freddy Garcia tells Lider's Rodriguez that retirement never crossed his mind after he was released by the Mets last spring after just two starts at Triple A. "They told me one thing and did another," Garcia says. "I came to fight for a spot and they never gave me a chance."
  • Former Twins outfielder Lew Ford has signed with the Oaxaca Warriors of the Mexican League, reports Eduardo Gonzalez Garcia at Noticias Sureste. After a one-year sojourn in Japan, Ford signed with the Reds last August and played for their Triple A Louisville affiliate. He last appeared in the majors in 2007.

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