Mariners reliever Chris Ray is brewing beer for charity

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Mariners reliever Chris Ray was at the Fremont Brewing Company yesterday, helping brew a beer called Homefront IPA that will be sold at Safeco Field and around Seattle to raise money for the Operation Homefront organization that provides emergency financial assistance to the families of military personnel.

Kendall Jones of Washington Beer Blog wrote a good article about tagging along with Ray, who has been brewing his own beer at home since back in the minor leagues and plans to open a brewery in Virginia with his brother someday:

Talking with Chris, you immediately recognize that he’s serious about beer. He talks about the rhizomes they chose to grow their hops and the first year’s hop harvest. Albeit tight-lipped, he tells me about the company that is potentially going to build the brewhouse. We discuss Virginia’s archaic liquor laws and the obstacles those laws create for a small brewery. It is clear that he is very serious about opening a brewery. He’s not just some guy who likes IPA.

Ray told Jones that he sometimes brings his home brewed beer into the Mariners’ clubhouse, but “it’s pretty hard converting light beer drinkers.” For shame, Mariners. For shame.

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.