More details on the rescue of Wilson Ramos

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Wilson Ramos was found safely by Venezuelan authorities on Friday, nearly 48 hours after he was taken from his home by four gunmen. Here are some more details on his rescue.

In an interview with Amanda Comak of the Washington Times, Ramos said he was lying in a bed in captivity when he began to hear an exchange of gunfire. He immediately jumped to the floor and prayed for his safety before being rescued by Venezuelan police commandos.

“They picked me up off the floor and they said, ‘Hey, Wilson, thank God, you’re safe. Let’s go home. Your family is waiting for you.’”

Ramos said his kidnappers only spoke to him briefly, saying that they were “going to ask for a ton of cash for me.” According to the family, they were never issued a demand for ransom and it’s believed they were not paid. The kidnappers did not hurt him and offered him food and water. While there are no physical scars, Ramos said, “psychologically I underwent very great harm.”

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo issued a statement earlier this morning regarding Ramos’ rescue:

“I am happy to announce that I have spoken directly with Wilson and he assures me he is unharmed but eager to be reunited with his family,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement. “He asked me to thank all who played a role in his rescue and all those who kept him and his family in their thoughts and prayers.

“I join Wilson in thanking the many law enforcement officials in Venezuela and investigators with Major League Baseball who worked tirelessly to ensure a positive ending to what has been a frightening ordeal. The only detail that concerns us is that Wilson is safe. The entire Washington Nationals family is thankful that Wilson Ramos is coming home.”

The Associated Press reports that five men were arrested in connection with the kidnapping, including a Colombian “linked to paramilitary groups and to kidnapping groups.”

According to Rafael Rojas of Viva Colorado, who has done a tremendous job on this story, Ramos hasn’t ruled out making another appearance in the Venezuelan Winter League in order to acknowledge the tremendous support he and his family received during his ordeal.

Cubs sign Drew Smyly to a two-year, $10 million contract

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday evening that the club signed pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the contract is for $10 million total and allows Smyly to earn another $7 million with performance bonuses. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners at the beginning of the month and became a free agent.

Smyly, 28, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in late June. He’s expected to miss, at minimum, the first half of the 2018 season. The Cubs are hoping he can contribute to a playoff push in the latter half of the season as well as in 2019.

Smyly didn’t pitch at all in 2017. When he was healthy the season prior, he made 30 starts for the Rays and put up a 4.88 ERA and a 167/49 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings.