Red Sox DH Hanley Ramirez has been battling a sore right shoulder and announced on Thursday that he is not participating in the World Baseball Classic. Mariners shortstop Jean Segura will replace him on the Dominican Republic roster, Jon Morosi reports.
The shoulder soreness affects Ramirez’s throwing ability, but reportedly does not bother him when he hits. The three-time All-Star hit .286/.361/.505 with 30 home runs and 111 RBI in 620 plate appearances for the Red Sox last year, starting 133 of 144 games at first base. With David Ortiz now out of the picture, Ramirez will serve as the full-time DH this year, assuming he’s healthy enough to do so.
Segura, 26, was acquired by the Mariners from the Diamondbacks back in November. He had a career year in 2016, batting .319/.368/.499 with 20 home runs, 64 RBI, 102 runs scored, and 33 stolen bases in 694 PA.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.