Let the waiver madness begin!
Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Dodgers have placed Manny Ramirez on waivers. According to Morosi, teams have until Friday to place a claim. If he is claimed, the deadline for a deal would be next Tuesday.
Ramirez, who was activated from the disabled list Saturday, just became eligible to be placed on waivers on Monday. The 38-year-old slugger is 0-for-7 with three strikeouts in two games since returning to the lineup.
The White Sox reportedly plan to place a waiver claim on Ramirez, but he’s no lock to make it to them. Of course, any team that makes a claim absorbs the potential risk that the Dodgers could just dump Ramirez and the $4-plus million remaining on his contract. The Rays have also been mentioned as a potential landing spot.
Ramirez isn’t the same player he was even two years ago, and his failure to stay on the field this season has a lot to do with that, but he is still batting .306/.396/.497 with a 894 OPS over 193 at-bats this season. Numbers aside, the mere presence of his right-handed bat down the stretch could make a real difference for a contender.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.