The Marlins are in town to face the Red Sox, and you know what that means:
It’s a bittersweet sight to see the Florida Marlins arrive in
Boston. On one hand, seeing those turquoise and black uniforms trotting
out onto the Fenway grass is a reminder of the talent the Marlins’
organization has fed into Boston in the past — the Red Sox’ staff ace
and their third baseman are living proof of that. On the other hand,
there’s the tantalizing sight of one of baseball’s brightest young
stars returning to Fenway, a Red Sox prospect that was. That, of
course, would be Hanley Ramirez.
To this day, the debate rages on — what would you have done? With
the future of two franchises in your hands, with the chance to
drastically alter the careers of two of the game’s superstars, present
and future, would you pull the trigger? It’s not an easy call.
How is this not an easy call, even in hindsight? As the article itself
notes, if the Sox didn’t trade Ramirez, they wouldn’t have had Josh
Beckett or Mike Lowell, and without Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell, it’s
almost a certainty that they would not have won the 2007 World Series.
I know Boston has recently become the city of champions and all of
that, but I’m guessing that about 95% of the fan base would prefer a
title in the bag to even an All-Star shortstop. The other 5% are either
crazy or have an unhealthy fetish for potential and shiny numbers.
To the extent there remains any “debate” about the Hanley Ramirez
deal, it’s borne of either (a) a latent desire by Sox fans for their
team to possess every player worth a damn; and (b) the need for the
media to fill the void the morning after almost every team had the day
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals are keeping an eye on outfield prospect Luis Robert. The 19-year-old left his native Cuba last November and is expected to command interest from multiple MLB teams as he approaches free agency. Goold adds that the Cardinals sent scouts to evaluate Robert’s workouts in the Dominican Republic as recently as last week.
There’s still a good chance that the club won’t get a shot at signing him; as Craig mentioned last month, it seems likely that Major League Baseball won’t declare Robert a free agent until after June 15. By July 2, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement’s policies on international bonuses will go into effect, handcuffing teams with the maximum penalty for bonuses to a $300,000 signing figure for any available international prospect. It’s designed to effectively take away those teams’ abilities to sign additional international talent, and the Cardinals have already spent a reported $9.35 million in bonuses on Venezuelan outfielder Victor Garcia, Cuban outfielders Jonatan Machado and Randy Arozarena and Cuban right-hander Johan Oviedo.
Until the cutoff in mid-June, the Cardinals are likely to continue actively scouting other international talent, including Robert. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez quotes an anonymous National League scouting director who describes Robert as the No. 2 talent behind Japanese wunderkind Shohei Otani. The 19-year-old hit .286/.319/.397 with a .716 OPS during a 16-game run in the Canadian-American League in 2016, following up an impressive three-year tenure with the Ciego de Avila in the Cuban National Series from 2013-2015.