Matthew Pouliot

Miguel Sano

The home run that got Miguel Sano benched

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Twins prospect Miguel Sano hasn’t played the last two days after being benched as a result of his antics during this home run Tuesday in Double-A New Britain’s game against Portland.

Apparently, New Britain manager Jeff Smith had two problems with the homer. First, it was the pause Sano did a couple of steps away from home plate that was mostly missed by the video. The other issue was the slow jog around the bases. The homer is hit at the 34 second mark in Tbautos512’s video, and Sano doesn’t come around to touch home plate until the 1:03 mark. That 28-29 second trip is David Ortiz territory; while Ortiz averages 28 seconds around the bases on his home runs, according to Tater Trot Tracker, no one else in the majors tops 26 seconds.

The Twins haven’t announced when Sano will be back in the lineup, though it figures to happen this weekend. The Pioneer-Press’s Mike Berardino notes that another one of the  Twins’ best prospects, Eddie Rosario, was benched for a similar offense earlier this season.

Sano, 20, is hitting .294/.390/.621 with 26 homers and 76 RBI in 327 at-bats between Single-A Fort Myers and New Britain this season.  His homer Tuesday was his fourth in six games.

Passan: No Manny Ramirez callup on the way

BASEBALL-TPE-US-RAMIREZ
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Sources tell Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan that the Rangers have no plans to call up Manny Ramirez, even with regular designated hitter Lance Berkman making little progress with his leg problems and weighing retirement.

Ramirez went 1-for-4 on Thursday and is hitting .250/.318/.417 with three homers in 15 games for Triple-A Round Rock as he attempts a major league comeback after playing in Taiwan earlier this season.

“This isn’t Manny Ramirez,” a scout told Passan. “This is a 41-year-old still trying to play baseball and not doing it very well.”

At least, he’s not doing it very well two-thirds of the time. Ramirez has actually destroyed left-handers so far, hitting all three of his homers off them. He’s 7-for-21 against southpaws, compared to 8-for-39 with just one extra-base hit (a double) against righties.

But even if Manny could still hit lefties in the majors, there just isn’t much room for platoon DHs on teams with 12-man pitching staffs. The Rangers probably won’t give him a look unless they think he can handle a bigger role.

Alex Rodriguez for Albert Pujols…. who says no?

Albert Pujols
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Sure, this is as far-fetched as they come, but wouldn’t both the Yankees and the Angels have to think about this?

Alex Rodriguez currently has about $100 million left on his 10-year, $275 million contract that expires in 2017. Along with a $3 million portion of his signing bonus due next January, he’ll receives salaries of $25 million in 2014, $21 million in 2015 and $20 million in both 2016-17. Plus, he’s still owed about a third of his $28 million salary from 2013.

Albert Pujols, on the other hand, has about $218 million left on his backloaded 10-year, $240 million contract through 2021. His salary jumps from $16 million this year to $23 million next year and then increases by $1 million each season until he makes $30 million in year 10.

So, basically there’s a $120 million difference between the contracts. If you equate A-Rod’s deal as being $100 million of completely dead money, then it’s essentially taking on Pujols at $120 million for 8 1/3 years, a bit less than $15 million per year.

At this point, that’s overly expensive. If Pujols were declared a free agent today, no one is giving him $120 million. Maybe someone would take a chance on him at $15 million per year for two or three years.

Except, for the Yankees, the math is actually a bit more generous. Pujols’ deal, being worth $24 million annually rather than $27.5 million, would aid the Yankees with the luxury tax and make it a little easier to come in under the threshold in 2014 as they desperately want to do.

Frankly, I still think the Yankees say no. I expect Pujols to bounce back and have a couple of better seasons than his 2013 campaign, but the last five years of his deal are a killer. He’s going to make $140 million from ages 37-41. Plus, the Yankees already have Mark Teixeira presumably vastly overpaid at first base. The swap would make a bit more sense if the Angels kicked in the $20 million they’ve saved these first two years by backloading the contract.

With all of the money they’d shed, the Angels would be foolish not to accept the deal if it were proposed to them. After all, there’s the added bonus of not having to pay Rodriguez while he’s suspended by MLB. And maybe he will someday be ruled permanently disabled, at which point insurance would cover 80 percent of his salary.

And, no, I didn’t forget Pujols himself. He has no-trade protection and almost certainly would say no to such a deal. Even if he were curious about playing for the Yankees, it’d be quite the drag on his legacy if he were traded straight up for the most toxic player in baseball.