Manny Ramirez’s agent Scott Boras said Monday that he’s looking for an incentive-laden one-year contract. Specifically he said:
“It’s just like Vlad Guerrero. His last Angels season, where he had an injury season and he had 50 RBI, was not a customary Vlad Guerrero season. He went to Texas and reestablished himself. This is really the course for great veteran hitters.”
Part of me was convinced that Boras was going to pull that “Ramirez is the right-handed Ted Williams, he will increase ticket sales by eleventy-seven percent and thus should be paid in virgins and platinum” act in hyping Ramirez this winter, but it turns out that he’s being pretty darn realistic about things. Vlad Guerrero got a $5.5. million deal with a mutual option for 2011 and $1 million buyout, which was just exercised by the Rangers. I think Ramirez stands a great chance of out-producing Vlad’s 2010 line next season, and if anyone gets him for $6.5 million, they’re getting a great deal.
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.