Quick hits: Free-agent compensation madness

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– Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports takes a detailed look at the inequities of the free-agent compensation system
while advocating some changes, if not a complete overhaul. For example,
Passan finds that in the current system, Giants reliever Sergio Romo is
worth more than Rockies star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. The example is
extreme, yet valid. The current system is a complicated mess. Major
League Baseball and Elias would do everyone a favor by overhauling
these “groupings” with a little more common sense.




– In his first game back after the birth of his second child, Derrek Lee blasted two home runs while Carlos Marmol recorded a four-out save in a 5-3 win over the Mets on Saturday afternoon.



– Lance Berkman isn’t sure if he will play beyond the length of his current contract.
The 33-year-old slugger is set to earn $14.5 million in 2010 with a $15
million club option for 2011 or a $2 million buyout. “The Big Puma” is
clearly having an off-year, batting just .272/.400/.496 with 18 home
runs and 65 RBI this season. Shockingly, he hasn’t hit a home run since
July 9.




– Andy Pettitte improved to 5-1 with a 2.88 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break with a 6-4 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon.
By the way, Derek Jeter went 2-for-4 in the win, moving to within six
hits of tying Lou Gehrig for the Yankees’ all-time hits record.




– Curt Schilling is saying things again, and it is making me glad that I don’t live in Massachusetts anymore.



– And lastly, my favorite link of the week: The 40 Most Undeserving MLB Starting Lineup Figures Ever. Former Mets great Ryan Thompson makes an appearance.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.