Manny Ramirez Rumors
The Indians are looking to add a hitter and could spend modestly to supplement their offense, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The team is considering a reunion with several former Indians, including Jim Thome and Travis Hafner, Heyman reports. Though there’s been “a hint of buzz” about a reunion with Manny Ramirez, he’s not a consideration.
The Indians don't have an obvious internal DH option at this point, assuming Mark Reynolds plays first base. GM Chris Antonetti recently acknowledged that Hafner remains an option in Cleveland. Thome, 42, played for the Phillies and Orioles in 2012. He has said he's not retired and would consider playing because he still feels good physically.
Heyman identified former Indians such as Johnny Damon, Casey Kotchman and Grady Sizemore as other potential options for Antonetti. Free agents Aubrey Huff, Luke Scott, Carlos Lee, Jason Giambi and Juan Rivera are also available. Indians designated hitters ranked 11th in the American League with a .226/.317/.385 batting line in 2012.
Manny Ramirez, who is now playing in the Dominican Winter League postseason, wants to continue his MLB career, agent Barry Praver told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Ramirez last appeared in an MLB game in 2011, but the A's did sign him last February. Here are some more links from around MLB...
- Seattle’s offer for Justin Upton tells you they’ll be major bidders once the Marlins start listening to offers for Giancarlo Stanton, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes (on Twitter). The Mariners were prepared to send Taijuan Walker, Nick Franklin, Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor to Arizona to obtain Upton.
- Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca explains that the signing of Henry Blanco could save the Blue Jays some money behind the plate and enable them to spend on a late-inning reliever in free agency.
- With the return of Darren Oliver, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com (Twitter links) now sees six Blue Jays relievers competing for three spots. Among those six are Esmil Rogers and Jeremy Jeffress, who are both out of options.
- Former MLB first baseman/outfielder Ben Broussard worked out for five teams in Austin, Texas today, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The 36-year-old, who played winter ball in Mexico, took grounders at first base and fly balls in left field during his audition (Twitter link). Broussard last appeared in the majors with the Rangers in 2008.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Let's take a look at the latest news and notes on what could be the final day of the 2012 baseball season.
- Jim Leyland's future as manager of the Tigers is still unclear, tweets Tom Gage of the Detroit News. Before tonight's World Series game, Leyland said nobody puts a team together better than team President/CEO/GM Dave Dombrowski adding "hopefully he feels I'm the guy to manage it."
- The Orioles' most pressing needs for 2013 are a frontline starter, a second baseman, and dealing with the unsettled positions of left field and first base, writes MASN.com's Roch Kubatko.
- Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy are among the Orioles who could make a big step in 2013, according to Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com.
- The Indians should only trade Chris Perez if they feel Vinnie Pestano can replace him as closer, opined Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer as he delved into his readers' mailbag. Hoynes also believes Lonnie Chisenhall will be given every opportunity to be the everyday third baseman and Sandy Alomar, Jr. would have been the slam-dunk choice as manager, if Terry Francona hadn’t been so adamant about getting back in the dugout.
- In the wake of Shohei Otani's announced intention to pursue a MLB career rather than play in Japan, Japanese baseball officials are considering stricter rules for amateur players who want to do the same, reports the Associated Press (via the Boston Herald).
- Tom Kotchman denied he was forced out by the Angels insisting his decision to leave was due to a desire to find something closer to his Tampa-St. Petersburg area home, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
- Congratulations to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, who was named the first female president in the 104-year history of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
- Manny Ramirez's quest to resurrect his baseball career has the slugger heading to the Dominican Republic in hopes of catching the eye of a potential suitor during a tryout for three Japanese teams, writes George A. King III of the New York Post.
Daniel Seco contributed to this post.
- The Cubs are shopping starter Ryan Dempster to multiple teams, including the Dodgers. Chicago is willing to include significant amounts of cash in any trade in hopes of landing better prospects. Dempster has 10-and-5 rights, however, and thus can veto any deal, although he's willing to move to a contender.
- The Orioles are pursuing starting pitching and scouted both Dempster and Matt Garza this week, although the Diamondbacks' Joe Saunders may be a better trade fit for Baltimore.
- The Blue Jays are asking around for pitching help, although they may end up sellers before the non-waiver trade deadline.
- The Astros are willing to listen on "virtually all of their players." Younger players like Jed Lowrie and third baseman Chris Johnson are all in play, although it would take a huge offer to pry away second baseman Jose Altuve.
- The Indians are unlikely to make a move for a DH type like Vladimir Guerrero or Manny Ramirez. Their bigger need is a player who can play left field -- perhaps someone like Carlos Quentin -- but they first need to figure out where they stand with Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore, who are both injured.
- The Marlins will have trouble bolstering their weak offense because of a depleted farm system. With Emilio Bonifacio injured, their most obvious need is center field. The Twins' Denard Span and perhaps the Phillies' Shane Victorino are potential targets.
- The Angels no longer have room in the starting lineup for the injured Vernon Wells now that Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout have solidified the outfield, and one rival GM thinks Wells could be released when he's ready to return from the disabled list.
Manny Ramirez is a free agent after being cut loose by the Athletics and says that he wants to continue playing, but it's not clear where he might get the major league opportunity that he's seeking. The Rockies don't have any need for Manny, tweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post. Orioles GM Dan Duquette, who brought Ramirez to Boston, told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter) that he has no interest in signing him. Unsurprisingly, the Dodgers aren't interested in bringing Mannywood back to Chavez Ravine, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Here's more from around baseball..
- Scouts from around baseball aren't terribly hot on Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, writes Cafardo. "He’s been an outstanding hitter in this league for a long time. But given some of the injuries, he’s got to show that he’s completely healthy and that he can still be the same hitter he was," a veteran scout said.
- Indians GM Chris Antonetti says that the trade market is still not clear, tweets Jordian Bastian of MLB.com. There are more buyers than sellers but the team will look at bats and arms as the market develops.
- Pitcher Livan Hernandez doesn't plan on retiring after being DFA'd by the Braves yesterday, writes Mark Bowman of MLB.com. The 37-year-old posted a 4.94 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 31 innings out of the bullpen for Atlanta.
Manny Ramirez has been eligible to join the A's major league roster for more than two weeks after completing his 50-game suspension, but the slugger remained in Triple-A. Last night, the situation reached its logical conclusion as Ramirez requested his outright release and the team obliged. Here's more on Manny and a look around the AL West..
- Ramirez told ESPNDeportes.com's Enrique Rojas that he isn't mad at Oakland for not promoting him and hopes to continue his career. "The A's treated me amazingly during all this time, but sadly didn't have space for me and this is something I can't control. I'm going home to continue my training hoping to get the chance to play again," said the slugger.
- Pitcher Joe Saunders was emotional when he learned that the Angels were trading him to the Diamondbacks in 2010 as part of a package for Dan Haren, writes Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times. Looking back on it now, the hurler says that he is glad to be a part of the building process in Arizona.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter) says not to discount the Mariners' Jason Vargas as a trade candidate due to his road ERA (4.53). In total, the left-hander has a 3.95 ERA with 5.7 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 15 starts this year.
The Athletics have announced that Manny Ramirez has requested his outright release and the team has granted his request. The veteran recently completed his 50-game suspension and was eligible to join the club on May 30th.
Ramirez, 40, hit .302/.348/.349 for Triple-A Sacramento in 69 plate appearances this year. Just last week, A's GM Billy Beane said that the club hadn't decided whether to release the slugger. Oakland signed Ramirez in February and Beane insisted that the move had everything to do with baseball and nothing to do with PR.
It was on this day in 1966 that the Mets made one of the most infamous draft blunders in history, taking Steve Chilcott with the first overall pick of the June amateur draft. Chilcott became the first #1 pick to never play a game in the Major Leagues, while the A's fared a bit better with the #2 selection --- Reggie Jackson.
Let's check out some news from around baseball as we prepare for some interleague action...
- Athletics GM Billy Beane said no decision has been made about releasing Manny Ramirez, reported Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News, though Beane also wasn't sure when or if Ramirez would be called up to Oakland. Ramirez has completed his 50-game suspension but has been hampered by a leg injury and isn't hitting well in Triple-A.
- In a radio appearance on 95.7 FM The Game, Athletics managing general partner Lew Wolff said that he wants to keep the team in the Bay Area and his ownership group has no plans to sell the A's. Wolff predicted that in five years, the A's would be playing in a new stadium in San Jose. (All links at to Twitter.)
- The Orioles have signed third-round pick Adrian Marin, as announced by Marin himself on his Twitter page. Marin is a high school shortstop who was originally committed to the University of Miami.
- The Rangers announced the signings of 18 draft picks, including all of their selections between the fourth and tenth rounds.
- The Tigers shouldn't trade top prospect Nick Castellanos in an effort to win this season at the sake of the minor league system, writes Jamie Samuelsen for the Detroit Free Press.
- ESPN's Keith Law examines how teams' first-round draft picks fit in among their organizations' other top prospects.
- The Twins have hurt themselves by not dealing veterans at the trade deadline in recent years and shouldn't make that same mistake again this season, opines Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Souhan does name a few players, however, he thinks the Twins shouldn't deal: Jared Burton, Glen Perkins, Jamey Carroll and Josh Willingham.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports takes an early look at the trade deadline in his latest Hot Corner video, naming the Twins, A's, Padres and Cubs as the few clubs who are clear sellers, with the Cubs "probably the biggest seller out there." Rosenthal also thinks the Astros will likely join this group as they want to get rid of their high-priced veterans, though Houston is playing well right now.
- In terms of potential sellers, Rosenthal names the Brewers, as they could look to move Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum and/or Francisco Rodriguez if they fall out of contention. The Phillies "are kind of hanging on a precipice" in the tough NL East and unless they get more concrete news about the health of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay, Philadelphia could become sellers as well and look ahead to 2013.
- Fredric Horowitz has been hired as the arbitrator between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players' Association, reports the Associated Press. Horowitz replaces Shyam Das, who was fired in the wake of his decision to lift Ryan Braun's 50-game suspension for a positive drug test.
Yoenis Cespedes may make his Cactus League debut this weekend, GM Billy Beane said, according to Barry Bloom of MLB.com. Here are some more Athletics-related notes...
- Athletics outfielder Jason Pridie will be suspended 50 games for violating the minor league drug program, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Twitter links). Pridie tested positive for a “drug of abuse,” rather than a performance-enhancing drug, apparently doing so for the second time. He signed a minor league deal with the A’s in November.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains that retiring was probably a mistake for Manny Ramirez. The decision to retire affected the type of suspension he faced for violating MLB's drug policy.
- Ramirez said he almost signed with the Blue Jays this offseason before determining the Athletics' interest was more serious. “At first [the Blue Jays] said yes. Then they said, ‘We’re going to have to think about it,’” Ramirez said.
- The A's released catcher Landon Powell earlier today.
The AL West saw no shortage of action this offseason, with notables Albert Pujols, Yu Darvish and Yoenis Cespedes joining the ranks, but the division may yet make a few more transactions headlines before Opening Day. Here's the latest ...
- Angels outfielder/DH Bobby Abreu told Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com that he'd like to be traded if he's not assured of an everyday role this season -- this after Halos skipper Mike Scioscia said Sunday that Abreu will split time at DH with Mark Trumbo and/or Kendrys Morales. GM Jerry Dipoto responded by saying Abreu has "no right" to issue an ultimatum, according to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels said Texas has no trades in the works right now, including any involving releiver Koji Uehara, and still has no plans to sign right-hander Roy Oswalt, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Uehara has long been rumored to be on the trade block.
- Athletics GM Billy Beane said there are no guarantees for DH Manny Ramirez, recently signed to a minor league contract, beyond Day 1, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Beane also told reporters, including Jane Lee of MLB.com, that signing Manny was strictly a baseball decision -- not for PR -- and that "we couldn't come up with a reason not to sign him" (Twitter links).