Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen had a problem with Hanley Ramirez alright, but it had nothing to do with the former Rookie of the Year’s attitude or demeanor. The Sun-Sentinel’s Juan C. Rodriguez has the quote:
Hanley Ramirez had a great attitude with bad performance for me. From Day 1 when we talked to today he was great with me. What he was in the past? That’s their problems. I’m not saying this because he just got traded. I wish he had a bad attitude and produced. I would take that.
If Ramirez was a clubhouse cancer, as some have claimed, Guillen surely would have gone ahead and fired with both barrels here. He’s not one to hold back. Many expected Ramirez would sulk after being switched from shortstop to third base to make room for Jose Reyes, but he didn’t, at least not outwardly. Whether some disappointment or frustration took a toll on his performance is anyone’s guess. Guillen would have put up for some surliness in return for an extra 30 points of average and a dozen more runs batted in.
Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.
Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.
Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.