Yankees, Nationals, Marlins, Phillies in on Yoenis Cespedes

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Now that you have had a chance to recover from the Yoenis Cespedes video, let’s talk about where this too weird to live and too rare to die talent may actually play baseball.

He had a tryout in the Dominican Republic on Friday and, as Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports, it drew the interest of several teams. In addition to the usual suspects — like the Yankees, who have expressed interest — the Nationals, Marlins and Phillies are all keenly interested too. And it doesn’t seem hard to see why.

Friend-of-the-blog and sometimes commenter @Leokitty made a great point: The Marlins are too perfect a fit. They’ve made noise about wanting to make a big splash, this is a very-Marlins kind of splash in that, while it would take money, it’s not crazy money because the guy would be controlled for years. He’s Cuban, and that is a pretty awesome thing to be in Miami. In a lot of ways it might mirror the Aroldis Chapman thing in that no one saw the Reds coming until just before they signed the guy.

In any event. it sounds like we have another top-end free agent on our hands this winter. And that’s wonderful.

Erasmo Ramirez to be shut down with a minor lat strain

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Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.

There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.

The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.