Ryne Sandberg will not be returning to Cubs next season

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When Lou Piniella stepped down from his post as Cubs manager earlier this year, there was an assumption that Triple-A Iowa skipper and Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg would take over to start the 2011 season.  Then Mike Quade stepped in, led the Cubbies to a 24-13 down the stretch and was awarded the full-time position last week.

The Cubs asked Sandberg to return to his post at Iowa, but he felt snubbed when they went with Quade and he is now planning to move on after four years as a coach within the organization.  This according to ESPN Chicago’s Bruce Levine.

“There’s no good-bye. He’s a Cub. He’ll be a Cub for life,” Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said Wednesday on “The Afternoon Saloon” on ESPN 1000, confirming the report. “If he would like to explore some options with other teams to pursue some other opportunities that doesn’t really change anything with respect to what he has accomplished for the team or what he means to the team … He’s a Cub forever.”

Quade patched the final holes for his 2011 coaching staff this week with the hiring of Pat Listach as bench coach and Dave Keller as a major league staff assistant.  Pitching coach Larry Rothschild, hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, bullpen coach Lester Strode, third base coach Ivan DeJesus and first base coach Bob Dernier will return from Piniella’s staff.

Report: Mets sign Wilson Ramos to two-year, $19 million deal

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The Mets have signed catcher Wilson Ramos to a two-year deal, SNY’s Andy Martino reports. The total value of the contract is $19 million, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman.

Ramos, 31, split last season between the Rays and Phillies, putting up one of the best offensive seasons among catchers. In 416 total plate appearances, he hit .306/.358/.487 with 15 home runs and 70 RBI.

Ramos will presumably get the lion’s share of plate appearances behind the plate with Travis d'Arnaud backing him up. Grandal was made a qualifying offer, so the Mets would have had to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. And, of course, Realmuto would have cost prospects. Ramos simply costs money.

The Mets were aggressively pursuing a catching upgrade, having been involved in rumors surrounding J.T. Realmuto and Yasmani Grandal, but ultimately settled on Ramos. New GM Brodie Van Wagenen has made a significant impact on the team already, having also added second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz from a trade with the Mariners.