Your latest "Team X is scouting Player Y" report: the Mets and Jeremy Guthrie

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I’m still not sure what to make sure of these “Team X is scouting Player Y” reports we’ve seen so many of this summer, simply because we don’t really have a baseline for judging how much scouting happens in the normal course.

Maybe some teams have guys at everyone’s games, at least periodically, to fill out their Massive Scouting Database of Doom.  Maybe if a team has a scout at a certain game they are looking at a different player than everyone thinks they’re looking at.  Even if the reporter talks to a scout and asks him who he’s looking at, maybe the scout lies to create misinformation. I mean, scouting is recon, and why would a team want the other guys to know what they’re, um, reconning?

Which isn’t to say those “Team X is scouting Player Y” reports are wrong. I’ve been running them if they come from reporters who usually get things right. I just don’t know what to think about them yet. Maybe I’d feel better if the reporter were to actually say “a scout from Team X said he’s scouting Player Y.”  That requires a lot more commitment on everyone involved. Maybe it makes no difference. I’m just thinking out loud here.

Anyway, Ed Price is one of those guys who usually get things right, so I’ll pass it along when he says things like the Mets are scouting the Orioles’ Jeremy Guthrie.  I don’t think I buy his source who says that the Mets think Guthrie could be a better bet than Ted Lilly — or maybe the Mets do think that and they’re just crazy — but there you go.

For what it’s worth, Guthrie is 3-10 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 63/35 in 118 innings. He is not, in short, anything approaching a difference maker.  But hey, maybe the scout has noticed that he’s tipping his pitches, which is another unverifiable thing that befuddles me almost as much as the  “Team X is scouting Player Y” reports.

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.