Rafael Rojas of the Meridiano newspaper in Venezuela just tweeted that Wilson Ramos has been found safely:
Internal Affairs Minister called Ramos family and told them they got him … VZ Information Minister tweets Ramos has been found safely by authorities at mountains at Carabobo state ..
Rojas says that Ramos’ recovery was announced on the PA System at Winter League games in progress and that the crowds went wild.
This is fantastic way to end what has been an awful week. We’ll obviously pass along the details as they come available. This report from NBC Sports.com will be updated as the evening progresses.
UPDATE: Ramos’ teammate, Scott Drucker, tweets that Ramos is in Caracas now, getting medical attention. He also passes along the ecstatic response of the Venezuelan crowds when the announcement was made.
UPDATE II: More details are beginning to pour in. Rafael Rojas reports that the internal affairs minister just said there are three detainees, so it looks like this was a rescue operation.
UPDATE III: Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that Ramos has told his family that he is “healthy and well,” according to close family friend Marfa Mata.
UPDATE IV: Via Zuckerman, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has released a statement:
“The news from Venezuela tonight is reassuring. Though details are limited and we have not yet talked directly with Wilson, we are thrilled with reports that he has been rescued and is being safely returned to his family. We greatly appreciate all the prayers and thoughts of all who have joined us in wishing for this conclusion to what has been a nightmarish 48 hours. We are eager to see Wilson and let him know just how many all over the world have been waiting for this news.”
UPDATE V: Via Kathe Vilera on Twitter, here’s a photo of Ramos, who she describes as “healthy and safe.”
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.