But that could change next month, agent Paul Kinzer told FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal on Monday.
According to Kinzer, while Ramirez is currently unwilling to accept any deal that would take him out of Chicago, he might agree to something after his wife and children return to the Dominican Republic next month.
Even more interesting is that Kinzer said Ramirez would want to waive his 2012 option as part of any deal. Ramirez has a $16 million club option for 2012 that the Cubs aren’t expected to exercise, but that option would automatically become guaranteed as part of any trade.
Kinzer said Ramirez would rather become a free agent at season’s end than accept a $16 million salary for 2012, and if that’s the case, he’d become quite a bit more attractive to suitors. Most teams would be scared off by that kind of payout.
Contenders needing help at third base include the Angels, Tigers, Brewers, Pirates, White Sox and Diamondbacks. The Yankees could also qualify, having Alex Rodriguez might be about ready to return from knee surgery by the time Ramirez is willing to accept a trade.
Ramirez would have to be placed on waivers in order to be dealt in August.
Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.
Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.
It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.
“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”
Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.
This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.
With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.