Manny Ramirez’s comeback attempt with the A’s stalled at Triple-A, but now the 40-year-old is planning to play in the Dominican Winter League.
Last winter he was ineligible to play in the DWL because he was on MLB’s suspended list, but Paul Casella of MLB.com reports that Ramirez will play for Las Aguilas.
Ramirez played 17 games at Triple-A for the A’s, hitting .317 with zero homers, three doubles, and a .697 OPS while striking out 17 times. He was released in mid-June and when Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today caught up with Ramirez in September he was busy “taking my kids to their basketball games, their baseball games, taking them everywhere.”
Back then Ramirez said of his current status: “I have an incredible peace.”
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.
Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.
Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.