Robinson Cano

Hanley Ramirez

The Astros have checked-in on Hanley Ramirez


Ken Rosenthal reports that the Astros have checked in on free agent Hanley Ramirez

I know they’re the 2017 World Series champs and everything, but I have to think that (a) the Astros aren’t yet willing to spend big for a free agent like this; and (b) Ramirez may be looking for more of a win-now situation. Also worth noting that Houston has a lot of prospects who would be blocked if Ramirez was on the team.

Of course, no one really though Robinson Cano would go to the Mariners until he did last year, so who knows?

The Mariners are really interested in Hanley Ramirez and Victor Martinez

Hanley Ramirez

Two reports which, if there are some teeth to them and someone acts on them, could really get the offseason rolling in a hurry: The Seattle Mariners are reportedly interested in both Hanley Ramirez and Victor Martinez.

Ken Rosenthal reports that Martinez is believed to be the Mariners top priority this winter. Rosenthal also reported that the M’s were interested in Ramirez, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today goes farther, saying that the Mariners are “aggressively pursuing” him.

Martinez is coming off a career year and is 35-years-old, seeking a four-year deal. Ramirez will likely cost $100 million or more and has become a defensive liability at shortstop. So, yes, both of those guys present some risk. However, Ramirez has shown a willingness to play elsewhere — third base seems like a natural fit — and given how close Seattle came to a playoff spot in 2014 and that they have a still-in-his-prime Robinson Cano, the team is certainly in win-now mode.

Plug in Martinez’s and Ramirez’s bats next to Cano and Kyle Seager in the lineup, endure Ramirez at shortstop for a while and worry about the defense down the road (or move Ramirez to DH eventually) and the M’s could be really, really interesting. Expensive and carrying high expectations to be sure, but certainly interesting.

Gold Glove finalists announced

gold glove award

Gold Glove award winners are announced November 4, but in the meantime Rawlings just named three finalists for each position in each league:

AL, catcher: Alex Avila, Yan Gomes, Salvador Perez
AL, first base: Eric Hosmer, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols
AL, second base: Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler
AL, third base: Josh Donaldson, Adrian Beltre, Kyle Seager
AL, shortstop: Alcides Escobar, J.J. Hardy, Alexei Ramirez
AL, left field: Alex Gordon, Michael Brantley, Yoenis Cespedes
AL, center field: Adam Jones, Adam Eaton, Jackie Bradley Jr.
AL, right field: Kole Calhoun, Kevin Kiermaier, Nick Markakis
AL, pitcher: Mark Buehrle, Felix Hernandez, Dallas Keuchel

NL, catcher: Jonathan Lucroy, Russell Martin, Yadier Molina
NL, first base: Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Morneau, Adam LaRoche
NL, second base: D.J. LeMahieu, Brandon Phillips, Chase Utley
NL, third base: Nolan Arenado, Juan Uribe, Pablo Sandoval
NL, shortstop: Zack Cozart, Adeiny Hechavarria, Andrelton Simmons
NL, left field: Justin Upton, Starling Marte, Christian Yelich
NL, center field: Billy Hamilton, Denard Span, Juan Lagares
NL, right field: Jason Heyward, Gerardo Parra, Giancarlo Stanton
NL, pitcher: Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright

I stopped paying much attention to the Gold Glove awards a long time ago–somewhere between Rafael Palmeiro winning one as a designated hitter and Derek Jeter winning five as a shortstop–but feel free to complain about the finalists.