Bill Baer

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 7: Wilson Ramos #40 of the Washington Nationals throws out the ceremonial first pitch prior to game one of the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park on October 7, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Brandon/AP - Pool /Getty Images)
Alex Brandon/AP - Pool /Getty Images

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.

Report: Cubs close to acquiring Wade Davis from the Royals

KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 3:  Wade Davis #17 of the Kansas City Royals throws against the New York Mets at Kauffman Stadium on April 3, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images
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Update (10:33 PM EST): The Royals are expected to receive outfielder Jorge Soler in return from the Cubs, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

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Update (9:28 PM EST): The Nationals have jumped into the mix, ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports.

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Cubs are close to acquiring closer Wade Davis from the Royals. It’s been widely speculated today that the Royals would move their talented ninth-inning man and the Cubs were one of the teams listed as interested, so this isn’t a shocker. The Cubs have been looking for a closer as Aroldis Chapman is a free agent.

Davis, 31, transitioned full-time to the bullpen in 2014 and instantly became one of the most dominant relievers in baseball. Over the last three seasons, Davis owns a 1.18 ERA with 47 saves and a 234/59 K/BB ratio in 182 2/3 innings.

The Royals picked up the $10 million club option for Davis for the 2017 season. He can become a free agent heading into 2018.

We’ll update you as more details come in about the potential trade.

The Orioles have begun extension talks with Chris Tillman

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 20:  Chris Tillman #30 of the Baltimore Orioles is taken out of the game by manager Buck Showalter #26 in the third inning against the Houston Astros at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 20, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
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Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles have begun preliminary talks with starter Chris Tillman‘s representatives concerning a contract extension.

The 28-year-old is entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors projects Tillman to earn $10.6 million for the 2017 season, after which he can become a free agent.

Tillman finished the 2016 season with a 16-6 record, a 3.77 ERA, and a 140/66 K/BB ratio in 172 innings. Aside from a poor 2015, Tillman has been a quality starter for the Orioles over the past several years. However, the Orioles will also at some point have to think about extensions for outfielder Adam Jones, third baseman Manny Machado, and closer Zach Britton as well.