From Dylan Hernandez at the Los Angeles Times:
PHOENIX — In the clubhouse a day before position players were scheduled to report for spring training, Hanley Ramirez said Wednesday he wanted to be “a Dodger for life.”
But Ramirez otherwise declined to talk about his contractual status, saying with a smile, “I’m a baseball player.”
It was reported in late January that Ramirez and the Los Angeles front office were in the “early stages” of extension negotiations, and it stands to reason that the discussions will get more serious once all of the parties involved settle into spring camp.
Ramirez, 30, hit .345/.402/.638 with 20 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 86 games last season.
He is currently scheduled to hit the free agent market five days after the 2014 World Series.
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.