As first relayed by Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, shortstop Hanley Ramirez is back in the Dodgers’ starting lineup on Wednesday night versus the Mets after sitting out eight games because of a jammed right shoulder. He will start at short and hit cleanup against Mets right-hander Dillon Gee.
Ramirez is batting .359/.410/.641 with 11 homers and seven stolen bases in 55 games this season for the first-place Dodgers, who will be looking for their 40th win in 48 games Wednesday in Los Angeles.
The last team to rattle off a 40-8 stretch was the Stan Musial-led 1942 World Series-champion Cardinals.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.
Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.
If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.