Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that 41-year-old outfielder Matt
Stairs has agreed to a minor league contract with the Padres. From Jerry’s Twitter account, a must-follow for any baseball fan:
“[Padres GM] Jed Hoyer was
very aggressive in trying to bring Matt into a young team to have a
veteran presence,” said Stairs’ agent, Bob Garber.
Stairs will serve as a left-handed pinch-hitter for the Friars this season if he’s able to land a roster spot during spring training. He hit just .194/.357/.379 last season in a similar capacity with the Phillies, but he’s dropped over 30 pounds this winter and claims to be in the best shape of his life. We shall see.
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.