Aramis Ramirez shuts the door on trade rumors

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After weeks of talk that he’d use his no-trade clause to block any deal out of Chicago, Aramis Ramirez appeared to leave the door open for a deal on Thursday by saying “if they’re looking to rebuild, I can’t fit in, so we’ll see.”

On Friday, though, he removed any doubt about his desire to remain with the Cubs.  According to Ramirez, he was asked what he wanted to do by GM Jim Hendry a couple of weeks ago and he said he wanted to stay.  Hendry has respected that and declined to shop him.

While reiterating his preferance to remain a Cub, Ramirez didn’t rule out considering a deal if one was presented to him.  However, he isn’t on the market at the moment, and the first thing he said to reporters tonight, according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat, is that he isn’t going anywhere.

Video: J.D. Martinez hits league-tying 23rd home run

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
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The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.

In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.

The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.