Cliff Lee decision coming Monday?

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A couple of updates here on Cliff Lee and his big free agent decision.

We know that the Yankees have offered the left-hander a seven-year deal worth around $161 million.  And we know that the Rangers have offered six guaranteed years with some kind of option for a seventh.  Now we’re just waiting for Lee to pick one.

Sadly, it may be another 24 hours or so before that pick is made.

According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, Rangers president Nolan Ryan is under the impression that Lee is going to spend the entire weekend in thought and won’t announce which team he is signing with until Monday.

“I’ve run all my traps and don’t know anything,” Ryan said, “so we’ll just wait and see.”

Lee, 32, turned in a sparkling 3.18 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over 28 starts in 2010, racking up 185 strikeouts and only 18 walks along the way.  The average velocity on his fastball has risen steadily over the last five seasons.  In 2006 and 2007, he clocked in at 89.0 MPH.  In 2008, that saw a slight bump to 90.5 MPH.  Then in 2009 he averaged 91.1 MPH, and this past year he was at 91.3 MPH.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.