Hanley Ramirez spoke to The Athletic’s Zack Meisel about his comeback bid with the Indians (subscription required), revealing that he had offers to join clubs following his release from the Red Sox last May. At the time, Ramirez told his agent that he preferred to take the remainder of the season to “get my body healthy and come back next year.” Informed that doing so would likely mean settling for a minor league contract — which proved spot on — Ramirez simply said he trusts himself and his ability to hit. As Meisel notes, that ability to hit is key for Ramirez, who’ll be viewed as a designated hitter if he breaks camp with Cleveland. That, in turn, would likely mean Carlos Santana serving as a dedicated first baseman and Jake Bauers playing primarily in the outfield, which would lead to further decisions in a muddled outfield mix.
A bit more from around the division…
- Twins slugger Miguel Sano is still about a week away from having the protective boot from his right foot, writes La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The laceration on his heel is “probably about 80 percent healed,” per Twins trainer Tony Leo, but its proximity to Sano’s Achilles tendon necessitates that it be fully healed up before he can resume baseball activity. That timeline could put Sano in doubt for Opening Day, though if all goes according to plan, he’ll have three weeks to build up to game activity and begin taking at-bats and reps at third base. New manager Rocco Baldelli simply stated that there’s “no way to say for sure” what Sano’s timeline is until the boot comes off.
- White Sox pitching prospect Dane Dunning won’t throw for seven to 10 days after having his recent bout of forearm discomfort examined by team physicians and doctor James Andrews, the team announced (h/t: Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, on Twitter). He’s slated to begin a throwing program at that point, assuming the pain in his arm has alleviated. Acquired alongside Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez in the 2016 Adam Eaton swap, Dunning has raised his profile with the ChiSox and has drawn his share of praise on top 100 prospect rankings throughout the industry. However, while he turned in a stellar 2.71 ERA with 10.4 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9 between Class-A Advanced and Double-A last season, the 24-year-old was also limited to 86 1/3 innings by an elbow sprain.
- Tigers roster hopeful Dustin Peterson chatted with Chris McCosky of the Detroit News about his surprise at being designated for assignment by the Braves late last season and the opportunity he now has before him with his new organization. Peterson, who was promptly claimed by the Tigers upon hitting waivers, said he’d been hoping for a September call-up on the heels of a strong finish to his season in Triple-A Gwinnett. (Indeed, he hit .296/.345/.441 over his final 200 PAs with Gwinnett.) Instead, however, he was informed he’d been designated in order to make room on the roster for Preston Tucker (who’d spend the final month with Atlanta before being cut loose himself). McCosky notes that Peterson has been working out at first base to increase his versatility in a bid to make the Opening Day roster, though he does have a pair of minor league options remaining. Peterson could also see some time at DH, though manager Ron Gardenhire indicated to McCosky that the precise manner in which he utilizes the DH slot will be determined by how often Miguel Cabrera is capable of playing first base