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Rays sign Wilson Ramos to a two-year deal

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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Rays and catcher Wilson Ramos have agreed to a two-year contract. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports provides the details: the deal has $12.5 million guaranteed with an additional $5.75 million available in playing time incentives.

Ramos, 29, tore his ACL and meniscus in his right knee near the end of the regular season. Prior to that, he was in the midst of a career year, batting .307/.354/.496 with 22 home runs and 80 RBI in 523 plate appearances. Had Ramos not suffered his injury, he likely would have commanded an even longer contract for more money.

Ramos will begin the 2017 season on the disabled list but could be available before summer begins. At any rate, the two-year deal affords Ramos the ability to rehab with no pressure to return earlier than necessary. Luke Maile and Curt Casali will handle catching while Ramos is out.

Joe Girardi won’t use Masahiro Tanaka in Game 7

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The Yankees and Astros are set for Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, and neither team will hold back as they seek a World Series berth. The Astros are prepared to back starter Charlie Morton with any able-bodied pitcher in their ranks — including Justin Verlander, though A.J. Hinch said it would be a “dream scenario” to get anything more from his ace — while the Yankees are prepared to utilize all but a few of their arms. One pitcher you won’t see? Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who last took the hill for the Yankees during their Game 5 shutout on Wednesday.

Tanaka expended 103 pitches over seven scoreless innings in his last start, fending off the Astros with three hits, a walk and eight strikeouts. He hasn’t pitched on fewer than three days of rest all year, and even with a do-or-die scenario facing the Yankees on Saturday night, manager Joe Girardi doesn’t want to compromise his starter’s ability to stay rested and ready for the World Series.

Girardi will also play it safe with fellow right-hander Sonny Gray, who dominated in a five-inning performance in Game 4. All other pitchers should be available and ready to go, though the club is hoping for a lengthy outing from veteran starter CC Sabathia. Sabathia is no stranger to the postseason: over eight separate playoff runs, he touts one championship title and a collective 4.24 ERA in 123 innings. He held the Astros scoreless in his Game 3 start, blanking them over six innings on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts for an eventual 8-1 win.

Even without Tanaka or Gray likely to take the mound for Game 7, the Yankees will enter the series finale with history on their side. Per MLB.com, they have a 4-3 road record in Game 7s and are 6-7 in all 13 Game 7 finales to date. The Astros, on the other hand, dropped their first and only Game 7 clincher back in 2004, when the Cardinals capped the NLCS with a 5-2 win in St. Louis. The teams are scheduled to face off for the first-ever Game 7 at Minute Maid Park on Saturday at 8:00 PM ET.