Storylines: Hanley Ramirez willing to play third base
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Friday, Nov. 7.
- It's been speculated that Hanley Ramirez's desire to play shortstop will temper the demand for his services on the open market due to his sub-par work at the position, but Jon Heyman of CBS Sports heard that Ramirez is now telling clubs he's willing to play third base or "wherever there's a need." On Thursday, ESPN's Buster Olney speculated that opening up to the possibility of playing elsewhere on the diamond would likely enhance interest in Ramirez. If he's open to playing third base or even left field, Ramirez's suitors could indeed grow, although Ramirez has never played a professional game in the outfield in the minors or Majors, so clubs may be hesitant to drop him into that role with no prior experience.
- Carlos Santana has routinely participated in winter ball throughout his career with the Indians. This month, Cleveland's first baseman is taking things a step further by suiting up for the Major League Baseball All-Stars in Japan, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com wrote. On Friday, MLB and the MLB Players Association officially announced the 29-man roster for the All-Star team that will head overseas for the Japan All-Star Series. Joining Santana from the Indians will be manager Terry Francona, who will serve as a coach on MLB All-Star manager John Farrell's staff. The MLB All-Stars will take on Samurai Japan (the Japanese national team) in a five-game series, beginning Wednesday. The MLB squad will first play an exhibition game on Tuesday. Throughout the five-game series, there will be games hosted in Osaka (Kyocera Dome), Tokyo (Tokyo Dome) and Sapporo (Sapporo Dome).
News and Notes:
- Pablo Sandoval is seeking a six-year contract on the open market, his agent Gustavo Vasquez told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Given his client's age, Vasquez doesn't feel that a four- or five-year deal is a sensible target. "Maybe if he was 30 or 31 we could talk about four or five years," Vasquez said to Schulman. "But he's 28. He deserves more than that." Vasquez explained to Schulman that the six-year term of the contract is more important to Sandoval than the average annual value. That comment isn't surprising, as a player will typically downgrade a contract's AAV as the years increase. While he said Sandoval has no specific dollar figure in mind, other reports have indicated a target north of $100 million. So, while the AAV of the deal may be somewhat flexible, it seems Vasquez must be eyeing at least a $17 million annual salary for his client.
- On a conference call with Padres season-ticket holders on Thursday night, general manager A.J. Preller spoke candidly about the team's interest in Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas: "We've had the chance to see Yasmany Tomas and we're in the process of determining his value for the Padres. We're in the game." San Diego has been said to be one of the front-runners for Tomas, and he'd certainly provide the team with some much-needed offense if he lives up to the hype surrounding him.
- The Reds have outfielders Michael Morse and Nori Aoki on their list of free agent targets, GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Jocketty said that he would prefer to find the outfield bat that the team needs on the open market rather than via trade.
- The Yankees declined the 2015 club option that came with their last minor league deal for Andrew Bailey and re-signed the former All-Star closer to a new minor league pact, Chad Jennings of LoHud.com reported. The 30-year-old Bailey hasn't taken a Major League mound since July 2013 due to an injury to the labrum in his right shoulder that ultimately required surgery. He last appeared with the Red Sox after joining Boston as the key piece in the trade that sent Josh Reddick to the Athletics.
- The Rangers will be on the lookout for a backup catcher to pair with Robinson Chirinos this offseason, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan wrote. Sullivan looked at the crop of free agents and notes that A.J. Pierzynski, Gerald Laird and J.P. Arencibia have all played with the Rangers in the past, but he wondered if the team will spend a bit more money on a name like Nick Hundley rather than bringing in familiar faces.
- The Mariners are expected to shop outfielder Michael Saunders at next week's GM Meetings, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Saunders and the organization have had a recent falling out based on some comments that GM Jack Zduriencik made at season's end. As chronicled by Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, Zduriencik made comments suggesting that Saunders needs to reassess his offseason workout/maintenance habits in order to be better prepared to play over the course of a full 162-game season. Saunders declined to comment on the words from Zduriencik, but agent Michael McCann expressed both surprise, disappointment and frustration at the comments, feeling that they called Saunders' work ethic into question.
- Free agent outfielder Chris Young is in discussions with the Yankees about a deal that would keep him in New York, according to a report from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Young joined the Yankees on a minor league deal in the middle of 2014, after he was released by the crosstown Mets.
Sandoval wants a 6 year deal....is there any team with an FO dumb enough to do that in 2014? Plenty of teams are dumb enough to do 4 years, but 6 is really stretching it.