Report: Braves making run at Aramis Ramirez

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A source close to the Braves organization told Talking Chop that the Braves have pulled an offer to 18th-round pick Zach Alvord in order to save money and make a run at Aramis Ramirez to step in for Chipper Jones at third base.
The source said that Ramirez has yet to be placed on waivers, but that the Braves have talked to the Cubs about a potential deal. Ramirez is making $15.75 million this year and has a $14.6 million player option for 2011.
It’d seem like a huge commitment for the Braves to make unless they have assurances that Ramirez will opt for free agency. They’re already committed to paying Chipper Jones $13 million next season, though there’s the chance Chipper could retire or renegotiate his deal.
Alvord, a shortstop out of a Georgia high school, was expected to get second-round money from the Braves. The two sides were believed to have agreed to terms, but the Braves couldn’t complete the signing because of MLB’s reluctance to approve above-slot contracts in advance of the signing deadline.

Hanley Ramirez is not actually under federal and state investigation

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On Friday, it was reported that free agent Hanley Ramirez was under federal and state investigation, though no one knew for what, exactly. Michele McPhee of ABC News said, “Obviously I know absolutely nothing about sports or Hanley Ramirez’s stats, but what I do know is crime. And there has been some reports about a FaceTime phone call that was made between a man during a car stop. After that car stop, police recovered a significant amount of drugs. And during that car stop, the suspect claimed that one of the items found in the vehicle belonged to Hanley Ramirez and then FaceTimed [Ramirez] in front of police. And that car stop coordinated with the timing of his release from the Red Sox.”

The suspect was reportedly transporting 435 grams of fentanyl and a “large amount” of crack cocaine. But it turns out that Ramirez’s name only got mentioned because the suspect was hoping to avoid arrest. Ramirez is not actually under investigation, Shelley Murphy and Evan Allen of the Boston Globe report.

The attorney of the suspect said that his client grew up in the Dominican Republic with Ramirez and used the former Red Sox DH’s name “to get the cops off his back, which didn’t work.” During the traffic stop, a trooper asked permission to open a brown cardboard box found in the rear cargo area of the suspect’s jeep. The suspect said the box contained books, shipped to him by Ramirez’s mother to deliver to Ramirez in Boston. The suspect FaceTimed Ramirez to back up his story, but Ramirez said he wasn’t aware that the suspect was on his way to visit. Ramirez gave permission to the trooper to open the box. He did, and found a gift bag with two kilograms of fentanyl. The suspect was arrested on drug trafficking charges.

Ramirez, 34, hit a disappointing .254/.313/.395 with six home runs and 29 RBI in 195 plate appearances for the Red Sox before being designated for assignment on May 25 and released on June 1. The Red Sox maintain that Ramirez’s release had nothing to do with anything off-the-field.