Aramis Ramirez declines Cubs’ arbitration offer

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As expected, free agent Aramis Ramirez has declined the Cubs’ arbitration offer ahead of tonight’s deadline.

Accepting the offer would have locked the Cubs into a one-year deal for around $15 million, but Ramirez obviously believes he can do better on the open market. As a Type B free agent he’ll fetch Chicago a supplemental first-round pick for signing elsewhere.

Earlier this week the Phillies were said to be making a strong push for Ramirez, possibly as a fallback option to re-signing Jimmy Rollins, but now Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Angels and Brewers appear to be the third baseman’s primary suitors.

Ramirez is iffy defensively at third base and will be 34 years old next season, but he hit .306 with 26 homers in 149 games for the Cubs while topping an .850 OPS for the seventh time in eight years.

Dodgers feel optimistic about Corey Seager’s return in the World Series

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The Dodgers pulled through the five-game Championship Series without Corey Seager, but they’re counting down the days until their prized slugger/shortstop can make his first World Series appearance. He still has a ways to go before he can return to the field, however. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register reports that while Seager has been hitting off a tee, taking soft toss and running the curves of the infield, he’ll need to practice hitting in a simulated game before he can rejoin the team next Tuesday.

The 23-year-old infielder went 3-for-15 with a triple and two RBI in the NLDS earlier this month. He was sidelined in Game 3 of the series after making a bad slide into second base and sustaining a lower back strain. Although he’s made fairly rapid progress in his recovery over the last two weeks, he’s not back at 100% just yet, and Roberts said he won’t make a final decision on his status until it gets closer to game time. Even if Seager makes a successful return to his starting position, the Dodgers may not get the same .295/.375/.479 hitter they relied on during the regular season.

Provided that everything goes smoothly over the next two days, though, there’s a decent chance Seager will find his way to the infield — or, at the very least, to the plate. “We’re very optimistic,” Roberts said Saturday. “Corey doesn’t want to be denied.”