Mets designate Opening Day cleanup hitter Mike Jacobs for assignment

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Only the Mets could bat someone in the cleanup spot Opening Day and then designate him for assignment less than two weeks later, but that’s what they did today with first baseman Mike Jacobs.
After starting Jacobs in six of the first eight games with Daniel Murphy on the disabled list the Mets dropped him from the 40-man roster this afternoon, calling up Tobi Stoner to have an extra arm in the bullpen following last night’s marathon win over the Cardinals.
Jacobs is an overrated, mediocre hitter with a terrible glove, so letting him go is perfectly reasonable. The funny part is that for the first two games of the season Jerry Manuel looked at his available options and decided putting Jacobs in between David Wright and Jason Bay gave the Mets their best chance to win.
And then, once he got over that insanity, Manuel batted Jacobs fifth behind Wright and Bay in four of the next six games.
Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com speculates that cutting Jacobs loose could signal the impending arrival of first base prospect Ike Davis, who began the season at Triple-A despite a very impressive spring training. Davis is 12-for-33 (.364) with two homers and three doubles in 10 games at Buffalo, but the 2008 first-round pick just turned 23 years old last month and has played a grand total of 65 games above Single-A.
Of course, no one has ever accused the Mets of having a plan, let alone sticking to one.

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.