Dioner Navarro sued by former agent

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According to the St. Petersburg Times, Rays catcher Dioner Navarro is being sued by his former agent for breach of contract.  From the Times’ Marc Topkin:

In the suit, filed last week in Hillsborough Circuit Court, Startrust
claims Navarro and his wife owe fees and expenses dating back to 2005
and seeks reimbursement, including money loaned Sherley Navarro to cover
her cell phone and data card bills.

Let’s hope everything is settled civilly and the suit does not carry into the regular season.  Navarro, who hit just .218/.261/.322 last year, has a whole lot of proving to do in 2010.  The Rays brought in Kelly Shoppach this winter and it’s safe to say that Navarro’s handle on the starting catching gig in Tampa is shaky at best.

The Red Sox designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment

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The Boston Red Sox plan to activate Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they’re making to make room for him on the roster is a big one too: they plan to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment.

The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the impending transaction. He was told by a major league source that Ramirez was informed this morning he’ll be moved off the roster. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.

Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup.

Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however, and long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.