Report: Braves making run at Aramis Ramirez

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A source close to the Braves organization told Talking Chop that the Braves have pulled an offer to 18th-round pick Zach Alvord in order to save money and make a run at Aramis Ramirez to step in for Chipper Jones at third base.
The source said that Ramirez has yet to be placed on waivers, but that the Braves have talked to the Cubs about a potential deal. Ramirez is making $15.75 million this year and has a $14.6 million player option for 2011.
It’d seem like a huge commitment for the Braves to make unless they have assurances that Ramirez will opt for free agency. They’re already committed to paying Chipper Jones $13 million next season, though there’s the chance Chipper could retire or renegotiate his deal.
Alvord, a shortstop out of a Georgia high school, was expected to get second-round money from the Braves. The two sides were believed to have agreed to terms, but the Braves couldn’t complete the signing because of MLB’s reluctance to approve above-slot contracts in advance of the signing deadline.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.