Aramis Ramirez “ready to move on” from Cubs

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Aramis Ramirez has been making quite a few headlines as he nears free agency.

Last week he told reporters he’ll be seeking a two- or three-year deal on the open market, earlier this week reports pegged the Marlins as one of his likely suitors, and last night the 34-year-old third baseman told Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com that he doesn’t expect to re-sign with the Cubs.

Right now, I don’t know what’s going to happen. But it looks like I’m going to hit the market. I don’t know what they want to do. We don’t have a GM, so I don’t know who you talk to. I think we’re ready to move on.

Ramirez left yesterday’s game with a quadriceps injury, so he may have played his final game at Wrigley Field as a member of the Cubs.

As a 34-year-old who probably should be playing first base Ramirez is unlikely to get another contract like his current five-year, $75 million deal, but he’ll be one of the best hitters on the market and has posted an OPS above .850 for the seventh time in the past eight years.

White Sox sign Ervin Santana to minors deal

Ervin Santana
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Free agent right-hander Ervin Santana picked up a minor league deal with the White Sox, according to various reports Friday. Per Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com, Santana will make $4.33 million if he manages to crack the major-league roster this spring. Any official confirmation from the team is still dependent on the results of a physical.

The veteran righty hasn’t seen any action in MLB for some time. He was laid low by prolonged discomfort in his right middle finger last spring, and underwent a capsular release/debridement procedure that kept him off the mound for all but 24 2/3 innings of his 2018 campaign with the Twins. When healthy, however, he’s been as durable and productive as they come. Santana earned his second career All-Star distinction in 2017 and pitched to a 16-8 record in 33 starts with three shutouts, a 3.28 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 7.1 SO/9, and 2.9 fWAR through 211 1/3 innings.

Barring further complications with his pitching hand, the 36-year-old should be a stabilizing force for the White Sox’ rotation in 2019 — assuming he can beat out southpaw Manny Bañuelos and right-handers Jordan Stephens and Dylan Covey for a back-end role, that is. According to FanGraphs, the club’s starters ranked worst in the league in 2018 with a collective 5.07 ERA, 5.18 FIP, and 3.1 fWAR.