The Cubs have placed Aramis Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive
to June 8. He has a bruised left thumb.
This has been a chronic problem for Ramirez, and either it or some sort of alien brain swap has resulted in him having the worst damn season of his life. He’s batting .168/.232/.285 and isn’t helping anyone except the Cubs’ opposition.
The corresponding roster move: calling up Chad Tracy,
who (a) hit .273 in 19 games before being optioned to Class
AAA Iowa; and (b) has officially moved up three slots to number 16 on the “players who have milked a nice little career out of having one good season a hell of a long time ago” list.
Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.
After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.
With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.