Dodgers are in the “early stages” of extending Hanley Ramirez

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Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports says the Dodgers are in the “early stages” of contract negotiations with Hanley Ramirez, who hits free agency after the 2014 season.

Ramirez, 30, hit .345/.402/.638 batting line with 20 home runs, 10 stolen bases and 62 runs scored in 86 games last season for Los Angeles. When healthy, he’s insanely valuable. And, given how thin shortstop is around the game these days, he’s going to be pretty expensive too.  But this is the Dodgers we’re talking about here, so they can make it happen.

Melvin Upton released by the Giants

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Jon Heyman reports that the Giants have released outfielder Melvin Upton. He requested his release.

Upton, who turned 33 yesterday, signed with San Francisco in early April after the Blue Jays released him. It was a minor league deal. After recovering from a rash of minor injuries, Upton batted .244/.306/.333 in 12 games at Triple-A Sacramento. There was no indication that the Giants were going to call him up. I presume that, back when they signed him, they figured they’d be contending and could maybe use a veteran bat. That’s obviously not the case anymore.

I suppose it’s possible that someone gives Upton a look when rosters expand in eight days, but I figure it’s more likely that we’ll next see him as he fights to make a team on a minor league deal next spring.

Carlos Santana left last night’s game with back tightness

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Andrew Miller leaving last night’s Indians-Red Sox game got all the press, but the Indians lost another key player in the game as well: Carlos Santana. He was forced to leave after going 0-for-3. There was no followup announcement after the game, so he’s likely being reevaluated.

Santana is hitting .250/.355/.446 on the year, but he’s been pretty hot of late, hitting .375 with a couple of homers in the past week.