Jim Edmonds criticizes Reds’ doctors, Brandon Phillips

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First, a little backstory here.

Jim Edmonds signed a minor league contract with the Cardinals in February, but was forced to retire weeks later due to a nagging right Achilles injury. It was an injury he dealt with prior to accepting a trade to the Reds last August, but he didn’t have another at-bat after September 21.

OK, now that you’re all caught up, check this out. According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, during a radio interview with KFNS in St. Louis that aired Thursday, Edmonds criticized the Reds for the way the injury was handled.

“It’s still awful. I still can’t do the things I want to do,” Edmonds said. “I’m really frustrated. I don’t know the right words to use towards the Cincinnati doctors. I’m in a situation now where I thought I’d never be in. I went so far in my career without really having a huge injury and had a bunch of surgeries. I thought ‘Gosh, I’m going to be able to get out of this with my health, my kids will be happy and I’m hoping to be able to walk out of this.’ Now I can’t walk and chase my kids around. Surgery is the option right now. That would be a year rehab. I’m not looking forward to that.

“The worst thing I did was accept that trade for [Reds general manager] Walt Jocketty. I should have shut it down and went home. I would be healthy right now and probably playing.”

Ouch. Edmonds also had some choice words for Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, who was front and center in the infamous benches-clearing brawl with the Cardinals last September. The brawl occurred just one day after Edmonds was acquired from the Brewers.

“Other than that one situation with that one player, they’re a young, talented, nice group of guys,” Edmonds said, referring to Phillips. “I think that one incident was very unfortunate and it put a black eye on the rest of the rivalry. … He says he wouldn’t take it back, but hopefully he learned from that and realizes that he was overboard there and causing another distraction that especially the Reds didn’t need.”

Meanwhile, Phillips took to his Twitter feed to respond yesterday, saying the following:

LOL. Awww! That’s so sweet! Trust me, there are so many things I can say about him [and] y’all would look at him different! “HATER IN DA HOUSE”

We’ll probably never know if Edmonds has a legitimate gripe with the Reds doctors — remember, this is a 40-year-old we’re not talking about, not someone who is 25 — but it’s safe to say that the rivalry between the Reds and Cardinals just got a little more juice. As if it needed it.

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.