Sources tell Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan that the Rangers have no plans to call up Manny Ramirez, even with regular designated hitter Lance Berkman making little progress with his leg problems and weighing retirement.
Ramirez went 1-for-4 on Thursday and is hitting .250/.318/.417 with three homers in 15 games for Triple-A Round Rock as he attempts a major league comeback after playing in Taiwan earlier this season.
“This isn’t Manny Ramirez,” a scout told Passan. “This is a 41-year-old still trying to play baseball and not doing it very well.”
At least, he’s not doing it very well two-thirds of the time. Ramirez has actually destroyed left-handers so far, hitting all three of his homers off them. He’s 7-for-21 against southpaws, compared to 8-for-39 with just one extra-base hit (a double) against righties.
But even if Manny could still hit lefties in the majors, there just isn’t much room for platoon DHs on teams with 12-man pitching staffs. The Rangers probably won’t give him a look unless they think he can handle a bigger role.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.