Giants prepare extensions for Sabean, Bochy

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The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the Giants will re-sign both GM Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy to contract extensions.
Both are being rewarded for the Giants’ turnaround from a 72-90 team in 2008 to one that remained in contention until the final week of 2009.
It’s a definite case of good timing for both, in that their contracts came up after this year. Bochy is still just 229-254 in his three years at the helm of the Giants. Sabean benefitted from having one of the best players ever for the first 11 years of his reign, yet his teams advanced past the NLDS just once, losing to the Angels in the World Series in 2002.
Giving Sabean and Bochy three-year extensions isn’t something the Giants will want to do, but it’d be tough to do shorter deals without undermining them. This is a huge offseason for the team, what with Bengie Molina and Randy Winn coming off the books and Tim Lincecum ready to discuss an extension. The Giants simply must upgrade the offense and they have the flexibility to go about it in any number of ways; Pablo Sandoval and Aaron Rowand should be the only locks for the 2010 lineup, and Sandoval could play either third or first. Unfortunately, finding productive hitters is far and away Sabean’s biggest weakness and the Giants could be setting themselves up for another fruitless run by relying on him again.

Report: Jose Ramirez close to four-year extension with Indians

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Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports that third baseman Jose Ramirez is finalizing a four-year extension with the Indians. The deal is said to be worth north of $30 million, and may crest $50 million if all options are exercised. While the extension won’t take effect until the 2018 season, it guarantees Ramirez a $26 million sum with two options worth $11 and $13 million and will give the Indians control of the infielder through the 2023 season.

Ramirez, 24, is entering his fifth season in the Indians’ organization. He posted career-high numbers during his first full season in the majors, slashing .312/.363/.461 with 11 home runs, 22 stolen bases and 4.8 fWAR in 2016. He’s projected to have a strong follow-up season at the plate and will likely see some time at second base as Jason Kipnis works his way back from a shoulder injury.

Although 2016 only showcased the beginning of Ramirez’s success with the club, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman says it’s a standard move for Cleveland to “sign their stars early,” and indicates that Ramirez was rumored to want the deal. Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors adds that the extension will keep Ramirez under club control through three arbitration-eligible years and one year of potential free agency.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.