Five years ago today, the Blue Jays signed closer B.J. Ryan to a five-year, $47MM deal, the largest ever for a reliever (the contract was later matched in total by Joe Nathan). Ryan gave the Jays two solid seasons, earning his release in '09. Today's links:
- White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez has until Wednesday to decide whether to choose arbitration over a $1.1MM salary for 2011, reports Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune. Even as a first timer Ramirez would certainly beat that, so look for him to choose arbitration unless a multiyear deal can be hammered out. The Sox have four other arbitration eligible players: John Danks, Carlos Quentin, Tony Pena, and Bobby Jenks.
- Carl Crawford's agents at Legacy Sports are sending interested teams iPads with pro-Crawford videos preloaded, reports Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.
- Versatile free agent Bill Hall is in play for eight teams, tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown. The Rockies are one interested club, tweets Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. The Yankees may be another, based on a Ken Rosenthal report from earlier this month. Renck believes the Rockies will have interest in Ryan Theriot if he's non-tendered, as well.
- Tsuyoshi Nishioka sounds eager to sign with the Twins, based on press conference quotes passed along by Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
- Scott Boras has a proposal to replace the Rule 5 draft, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides the details. Also, Rosenthal previews the rest of the offseason.