San Francisco released a pair of players who had opt-out clauses in their minor-league contracts, cutting loose reliever Ramon Ramirez and infielder Wilson Valdez.
Valdez is a pretty typical utility infielder–although for a brief, hilarious time some Phillies fans loved him–but Ramirez has actually been a solid reliever with a 3.32 ERA in 438 career innings through age 30. He struggled with the Mets last season, but a lot of teams could do a lot worse in a middle relief gig.
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that the Giants would like to re-sign Ramirez to a minor-league deal that doesn’t contain an opt-out clause if he can’t find a better situation elsewhere.
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.