5:35 p.m. EST update: Marlins president David Samson said there’s no truth to this at all; that Ramirez didn’t ask for his contract to be restructured and that there will be no trade.
4:30 p.m. EST update: Andy Mota, Ramirez’s agent, told the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer that Olney was way off with his report. He says Ramirez did not ask for a restructured contract and that the team is not exploring trades. “Not even close,” Mota said.
A source tells ESPN’s Buster Olney that the Marlins will look to trade Hanley Ramirez after the disgruntled infielder requested a restructured deal from the team.
Ramirez is upset about being asked to move to third base from shortstop to make room for Jose Reyes, but he doesn’t have a leg to stand on here. He’s already guaranteed $46.5 million over the next three years, and his play the last two seasons certainly doesn’t warrant any new considerations. Ramirez looked like he’d be a perennial MVP candidate after an awesome three-year run in his mid-20s, but his OPS has dropped from .954 to .853 to .712 since 2009.
Olney speculates that the Marlins, knowing that they would shed Ramirez’s salary, could sign Prince Fielder and either C.J. Wilson or Mark Buehrle in the next few days. They’ve already made a six-year offer to Wilson and a four-year proposal to Buehrle.
The Red Sox and Tigers are two of the teams that could be interested in taking on Ramirez’s contract.
Colby Rasmus isn’t ready to take outfield reps just yet. According to Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, that’s a red flag, one that could potentially postpone Rasmus’ debut as the club’s designated hitter and outfielder in 2017. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rasmus will need to prove he can play a defensive position before getting cleared for the active roster, something which the veteran outfielder has yet to do this spring.
Rasmus, 30, signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Rays following his two-year run with the Astros. He batted a meager .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and a .641 OPS in 2016 and was shut down in late September with an unspecified hip/groin issue. Entering the 2017 season, he’s expected to work his way back to a full-time role after undergoing surgery to repair his core muscle and left hip labrum last October.
The Rays also finalized their one-year, $1.2 million deal with catcher Derek Norris on Saturday and will need to clear room for him on the 40-man roster. Topkin speculates that the move could send Rasmus to the 60-day disabled list, though the outfielder is not projected to miss more than a couple weeks of the regular season.
The Rangers have reportedly agreed to a six-year, $49.5 million extension for second baseman Rougned Odor, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The extension comes with a club option for a seventh year, Heyman adds.
It’s close to the six-year, $52.5 million extension Jason Kipnis netted with the Indians in 2014, a sum Odor was rumored to be seeking during contract negotiations over the last two years. Granted, the circumstances are a little different this time around. Both players signed extensions on the cusp of their fourth year in the major leagues, but at 27 years old, Kipnis was coming off of an All-Star campaign and a career-high 4.5 fWAR performance. Odor, meanwhile, saw mixed results in 2016, batting 33 home runs and putting up 2.0 fWAR while struggling to stay consistent at the plate and exhibiting poor defense.
According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, Odor previously agreed to a $563,180 salary for 2017. Depending on when the extension kicks in, it should cover all three of Odor’s arbitration-eligible seasons and two seasons of potential free agency. The team has yet to confirm the extension.