Nationals call up 22-year-old catching prospect Wilson Ramos

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Wilson Ramos has hit .317/.349/.483 in 15 games at Triple-A since going from Minnesota to Washington in last month’s trade for Matt Capps, and now the Nationals have called up the 22-year-old catcher while Wil Nieves is away from the team to be with his pregnant wife.
Ramos was all but guaranteed to get a September call-up, so this will merely give him a little more opportunity to impress with an eye toward potentially making the Opening Day roster next season. Ivan Rodriguez is under contract for $3 million in 2011, but he’s 38 years old and has hit just .236/.255/.292 with one homer over the past 50 games.
Meanwhile, Capps blew a one-run lead last night before Jim Thome’s walk-off homer and is 4-for-6 converting saves since the trade.

Troy Tulowitzki held a workout for eleven clubs

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Yesterday free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki held a workout in California and representatives from at least eleven teams were on hand, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo. Among the clubs present: the Giants — who were said to have a “heavy presence,” including team president Farhan Zaidi and manager Bruce Bochy — the Angels, Red Sox, Cubs, Padres, White Sox, Orioles, Yankees, Phillies, Tigers and Pirates.

Your first reaction to that may be “Um, really? For Tulowitzki?” But a moment’s reflection makes it seem more sensible. We’re so tied up in thinking of a player through the filter of their contract and, when we’ve done that with Tulowitzki over the past several years, it has made him seem like an albatross given the $20 million+ a year he was earning to either not play or play rather poorly due to injuries.

It was just the contract that was the albatross, though, right? An almost free Tulowitzki — which he will be given that the Blue Jays are paying him $38 million over the next two seasons — is a different matter. If you sign him it’ll be for almost no real money and he stands a chance to be an average or maybe better-than-average shortstop, which is pretty darn valuable. You might even get one quirky late career return-to-near-glory season from him, in which case you’ve hit the lottery. If, however, as seems more likely, he just can’t get it done at all, you’re not out anything and you can cut him with little or no pain.

Eleven teams think he’s at least a look-see. I bet one of them will offer him a major league deal. Maybe more than one. He’ll probably have his pick of non-roster invites to spring training. I can’t see the downside to at least doing that much.