Update: Dirk Hayhurst signs with the Rays

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UPDATE:  It’s official: Hayhurst has signed a minor league deal with the Rays.  We know this from a news release. We know it more colorfully from Hayhurt’s own tweet:

Why hello there, Tampa fans. My name is Dirk. My hobbies include writing, speaking, pretending to be a giant firebreathing giraffe/moose.

Oh, Fortuna, please let him make the team.

Thursday, 2:06 PM: Hurm. Rob’s tweet was taken down. Perchance this was premature exuberance.  Here’s hoping the best for Dirk regardless.

Thursday, 1:39 PMRob Neyer reports — and last night I’m pretty sure the man himself hinted — that Dirk Hayhurst of “Bullpen Gospels” fame is going to sign with the Rays. I’m hoping Hayhurst does well in Tampa Bay, makes the team and sticks in The Show for a while, because he’s an awesome guy.

But really, this may be more notable for its literary implications than anything else.  Hayhurst no doubt has another book in him. Friend of HBT Jonah Keri has a book about the Rays coming out very, very soon.  How awesome would it be if Hayhurst learns all kinds of neat things about the Rays from the inside and subsequently writes his own book about them, totally debunking what Jonah writes?  It would be the most awesome baseball nerd fight of all time.  I hereby proclaim HardballTalk as neutral territory where Dirk and Jonah can argue about it all.

Or maybe not.  Either way, good look Garfoose.

Report: Jose Ramirez close to four-year extension with Indians

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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.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.