Yankees sign Ramon Ortiz to minor league deal

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The Yankees never made an attempt to lure Pedro Martinez to the Bronx, but now they can show off the original “Little Pedro.”

In need of a little extra pitching depth with David Phelps having made the team, the Yankees signed Ramon Ortiz to a minor league deal, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. He’ll presumably pitch in Triple-A.

Ortiz, 39, made two starts and 20 relief appearances for the Cubs last season, amassing a 4.86 ERA. He was cut by the Giants last week after giving up six runs — three earned — in 10 2/3 innings this spring.

Ortiz last pitched in the American League in 2007, went he went 4-4 with a 5.14 ERA in 91 innings for the Twins. He earned the “Little Pedro” moniker in his youth with the Angels (back before everyone knew he was a few years older than his listed age). He spent six years with the Angels, winning 15 games in 2002 and 16 in 2003.

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.