Bill Baer

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 18:  Colby Rasmus #28 of the Houston Astros greets a fan before taking the field against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum on July 18, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Don Feria/Getty Images)
Don Feria/Getty Images

Report: Rays sign Colby Rasmus

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Update (8:45 PM EST): Rasmus will get a base salary in the range of $5 million with bonuses that can push it to around $7 million, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

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The Rays have signed free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus to a contract, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Details of the deal have yet to be revealed.

Rasmus, 30, had a down year with the Astros this past season. He finished batting .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and 54 RBI in 417 plate appearances. Rasmus had surgery in mid-October to repair his core muscle, shave down a bone spur, and repair the labrum in his left hip.

The Rays were looking for a cheap hitter who could handle corner outfield and some DH. Rasmus fits that bill. Given his career platoon splits — a .775 OPS against right-handers, .656 against lefties — the Rays may decide to use him in a platoon.

Max Scherzer won’t pitch in WBC due to stress fracture in right finger

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 11:  Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals looks on against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second inning during game four of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
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Nationals starter Max Scherzer will not pitch in the upcoming World Baseball Classic due to a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger, MASN’s Mark Zuckerman reports. Scherzer is still expected to be ready for spring training. He and the Nationals likely don’t want to add any unnecessary risk by having him pitch in games that don’t matter for the team.

Scherzer, 32, is the defending National League Cy Young Award winner after going 20-7 with a 2.96 ERA and a 284/56 K/BB ratio in 228 1/3 innings this past season. His wins and innings totals led the National League while his strikeout total and 0.968 WHIP were major league bests.

Scherzer has five years and $135 million remaining on his seven-year contract signed with the Nationals in January two years ago.

Murray Chass defends his blank Hall of Fame ballot on MLB Network Radio

Murray Chass
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On Sunday, blogger Murray Chass wrote a column explaining why he submitted a blank Hall of Fame ballot. He’s a “small Hall” guy, which means he has a higher standard for players getting enshrined than do most people. He’s also virulently against players associated in any way with performance-enhancing drugs.

Sticking only to his defenses, though, is to give Chass the benefit of the doubt because the only reason he’s still voting, he said three years ago, is to spite writers like Rob Neyer and our own Craig Calcaterra. Chass is truly more an agitator than an agent of change.

Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio had Chass on today to clarify his blank ballot, but we didn’t really learn anything new.

It’s worth pointing out that for every non-vote a player gets, it takes three votes in order for him to be elected. Chass is correct that his non-votes make an impact, but it’s disappointing that it’s for wrong and misinformed reasons.