FanHouse’s Ed Price reports one thing we knew — Omar Minaya is on his way out — and one thing we didn’t — the Mets would rather hire an “experienced GM” than promote assistant GM John Ricco.
This surprises me somewhat because I had assumed that the Wilpons would want someone from inside, whom they’ve known and controlled to some degree for a while. That’s Ricco who — whatever his merits as an executive — is certainly more of a creature of the Wilpons than an outside candidate would be.
So what “experienced GMs” are floating around out there? Kevin Towers has been discussed by many, but he’s been linked with the Diamondbacks. Some have suggested Jon Daniels, who is from New York and who can opt-out of his Rangers deal due to the ownership change, but he has also said that he’d like to stay in Texas. And it would certainly seem like a better situation for him, competitively speaking.
I’m sort of blanking on available, experienced baseball GMs right now. Most candidates these days are assistants. At least any who are considered hot candidates, as opposed to folks who’ve been out of the top spot for a while.
The best I could think of right now — and it would actually be a great pick — is Paul DePodesta. Any others?
Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.
Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.
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.