Hanley Ramirez is digging himself a deeper hole

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Hanley Ramirez loafing.jpgUPDATE: Here’s a transcript of Ramirez’s whole session with the media and additional comments from “clubhouse leader” Wes Helms.  Quick take: why would a reporter ask Ramirez if he had lose respect for Fredi Gonzalez? Sure, Ramirez could have answered it any way he wanted to, but that’s awfully leading, isn’t it?  That aside, it’s not like Ramirez was taken out of context or anything.  What started as a booted ball and a a moment of hustle impairment has revealed what is apparently a deeply divided clubhouse.  Stay tuned, kids, because this is about to get interesting.

10:50 A.M. OK, it was bad enough that he got sent packing from last night’s game, but now Hanley Ramirez is just going nuts.  According to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, Ramirez told reporters Tuesday morning that he “lost some
respect” for manager Fredi Gonzalez after Monday’s benching.

To which I’d respond: if you had any respect for him to begin with, Hanley, you wouldn’t have loafed after that ball to begin with. Our respect for you, however, is plummeting quite quickly, thank you.

Ramirez also
said that
Gonzalez
doesn’t understand playing through
pain because “he never played in the big leagues,” which may as well be code for “I don’t feel like I have to listen to anything my manager says because that excuse applies to absolutely everything.”

According to Capozzi’s game story last night, Marlins’ owner Jeff Loria was in Fredi Gonzalez’s office after the game.  How happy would Loria be if he had a legitimate excuse — say, clubhouse chaos — for trying to unload Hanley Ramirez’s $70 million contract?

And yes, I realize that would be monumentally stupid form a competitive point of view. But it is Jeff Loria we’re talking about here, and he’s not exactly immune from letting financial considerations trump competitive ones.  You can’t tell me that the thought hasn’t crossed his mind.

The White Sox wanted Astros’ top prospects for Jose Quintana

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 27:  Jose Quintana #62 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field on August 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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The Astros, Braves and Nationals came sniffing around White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana during the Winter Meetings, but each appeared to find the Sox’ asking price well beyond what they were willing to give up for the starter. On Saturday, Peter Gammons revealed that the White Sox had floated Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker and Joe Musgrove as a possible return for Quintana.

It’s a strategy that worked well for Chicago in the past, most recently when they dealt Chris Sale to the Red Sox for Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, among others, and flipped Adam Eaton to the Nationals for a trio of pitching prospects. Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow didn’t appear eager to sacrifice some of his core talent to net a high-end starter, however, and told the Houston Chronicle’s Jake Kaplan as much on Wednesday:

We’re prepared to trade players to improve our club right now. […] We’re just not prepared to trade away players that are core to our production in 2017, and those are sometimes the players that are required to get these deals done.

While Lunhow was speaking specifically to the inclusion of third baseman Alex Bregman in future deals, it’s not unrealistic to think that top prospects Francis Martes and Kyle Tucker would also be considered instrumental to the Astros’ plans for the next few seasons.

Martes, 21, currently sits atop the team’s top prospect list on MLB.com. The right-hander blazed through his first full season in Double-A Corpus Christi, posting a 3.30 ERA and career-best 9.4 K/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2016. Tucker, meanwhile, profiles as the Astros’ second-best prospect and made a successful jump to High-A Lancaster last season, slashing .339/.435/.661 in 69 PA. Rookie right-hander Joe Musgrove is the only player left off the top prospect list, but he got off to a decent start with the club in 2016 as well, going 4-4 with a 4.06 ERA and 3.44 K/BB rate in 62 innings during his first major league season.

Daniel Szew: “Landa was a leader, happy-go-lucky guy”

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 1:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins poses for a photo during the Twins' photo day on March 1, 2016 at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Twins’ right-handed pitching prospect Yorman Landa passed away in a tragic car accident on Friday night, per a team statement. According to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, 22-year-old Landa was in the passenger seat of the vehicle when it struck a fallen tree.

Daniel Szew, Landa’s agent, spoke highly of the young pitcher, who was one of his first clients back in 2010. Szew acknowledged Landa for helping him expand his company, LA Sports Management, and referred to the late pitcher as a leader and his “little brother.”

Per Berardino:

He was very even-keeled,” Szew said. “That was his personality. He wasn’t wild. That’s why this is so tragic. He wasn’t a wild guy. He was a happy-go-lucky guy who took life as it came, and he was super happy — always happy.

If leadership was one facet of Landa’s personality, so was loyalty. The 22-year-old agreed to a minor league contract with the Twins on Tuesday after getting cut from the 40-man roster, fulfilling a promise to re-sign with the club despite fielding multiple offers from competing teams. The deal included an invite to spring training, and comments from his agent suggested that the right-hander was “super confident” he’d break through to the major leagues in 2017, notwithstanding a troublesome shoulder injury that hampered his progress in High-A Fort Myers during the 2016 season.

“He never wanted to leave,” Szew told Berardino. “It was the only organization he ever knew.”

Our condolences go out to Landa’s family and the Twins organization during this terrible time.