Your Thursday morning Manny Ramirez update

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Yep, Manny Ramirez is still a Dodger, though probably not for long.

As you probably know by now, the Dodgers finally placed Ramirez on waivers yesterday. We’ve already heard a report from the Chicago Sun-Times that says the Dodgers have been scouting players in the White Sox minor league system, suggesting that a potential deal is “close.” 

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times also hears that the Dodgers are indeed talking to the White Sox about a potential trade, while Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Manny has made it known “through friends” that he would accept a trade to the White Sox.

Sounds like a done deal, right? Well, maybe. You see, Ramirez finally showed some signs of life last night, going 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles, two walks and a run scored in a 5-4 win over the Brewers. The win helped the Dodgers move to within 5 1/2 games in the National League Wild Card. Sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com that the club might not trade Ramirez if they continue to jump in the standings. All this for nothing?

There are obviously many scenarios at play here, including one source who tells Rosenthal that Ramirez wants a one-year contract extension in order to waive his no-trade clause. Good luck with that, bud. The White Sox are widely expected to claim Ramirez off waivers and Rosenthal’s report does nothing to dispel that belief. The danger in letting him pass is that the Rays and even the Rangers — both teams with better records than Chicago — also have interest in Ramirez.

Just a reminder, teams have until Friday to place a claim. If Ramirez is claimed, the Dodgers would have until next Tuesday to work out a deal. If he passes through waivers, the deadline would be extended until midnight ET on Tuesday night, which just happens to be the deadline for setting postseason rosters. Should be an interesting few days ahead. 

Jeffrey Springs, Rays agree to $31 million, 4-year contract

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Left-hander Jeffrey Springs became the first of the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration salaries with their teams to reach a deal, agreeing Wednesday to a $31 million, four-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year old was among seven Rays who swapped arbitration figures with the team on Jan. 13. He began last season in the bullpen, transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts. He is 14-6 with a 2.70 ERA in 76 outings – 51 of them in relief – since he was acquired from Boston in February 2021.

Springs gets $4 million this year, $5.25 million in 2024 and $10.5 million in each of the following two seasons. Tampa Bay has a $15 million option for 2027 with a $750,000 buyout.

The 2025 and 2026 salaries can escalate by up to $3.75 million each based on innings in 2023-24 combined: $1.5 million for 300, $1 million for 325, $750,000 for 350 and $500,000 for 375. The `25 and ’26 salaries also can escalate based on finish in Cy Young Award voting in `23 and ’24: $2 million for winning, $1.5 million for finishing second through fifth in the voting and $250,000 for finishing sixth through 10th.

Tampa Bay’s option price could escalate based on Cy Young voting in 2025 and 2026: by $2.5 million for winning, $2 million for finishing second through fifth and $500,000 for sixth through 10th.

Springs would get $45.25 million if the option is exercised, $52.75 million with the option and meeting all innings targets and the maximum if he meetings the innings targets and wins two Cy Youngs.

Springs’ ERA last season was the second lowest in franchise history for a pitcher working a minimum of 100 innings. Former Rays ace Blake Snell compiled 1.89 ERA on the way to winning the 2018 AL Cy Young.

In addition to finishing sixth in the AL in ERA, Springs allowed three runs or fewer in 22 of 25 starts and two runs or fewer 17 times. He joined Tampa Bay’s rotation on May 9, gradually increasing his workload over his next six appearances. Springs was 6-3 with a 2.40 ERA in 14 starts after the All-Star break.

Arbitration hearings start next week and the Rays remain with the most players scheduled to appear before three-person panels.

Springs had asked for a raise from $947,500 to $3.55 million and had been offered $2.7 million. Tampa remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam, Pete Fairbanks and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.

Tampa Bay also agreed minor league contacts with catcher Gavin Collins and right-hander Jaime Schultz, who will report to major league spring training.

Infielder Austin Shenton and pitchers Anthony Molina and Joe LaSorsa also were invited to big league spring training.