Jon Heyman: "mystery team" in the running for Bay

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SI’s Jon Heyman writes that, despite the fact that that all of the other teams that need a left fielder are not really interested in Jason Bay, there is a “mystery team” in the running for him, making life harder for the Mets.  At the risk of falling into conspiracy theory land, I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that, even though he is not Bay’s agent, Scott Boras is inventing the “mystery team.”  My thinking:

  • The Mets are widely reported to have focused on Bay over Holliday because they think he’ll be easier to sign;
  • Boras needs the Mets to jump into the Matt Holliday derby, because his dude needs to get paid crazy Omar money or at the very least needs to use them to leverage the Cardinals;
  • By creating a rumor of a “mystery team,” the only advantage Bay has over Holliday — his alleged signability — is neutralized, thereby making Holliday more appealing to the Mets.

So that’s my theory. The mystery team is a fantasy.  And you can’t doubt me on that. I got it from an anonymous source whose identity is, like, a total mystery.

Erasmo Ramirez to be shut down with a minor lat strain

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Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.

There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.

The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.