Brewers “suspend” extension talks with Zack Greinke

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Zack Greinke appears headed for free agency.

According to beat reporter Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Brewers have “suspended” long-term contract negotiations with the 28-year-old right-hander and have no plans at this time to re-start the talks at a later date.

Greinke had quite an Opening Week, hiring agent Casey Close, watching fellow right-handed starter Matt Cain sign a five-year, $112.5 million extension with the Giants, and shutting out the Cardinals over seven innings in a spectacular regular-season debut.

Greinke posted a 3.83 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 28 outings last season, fanning 201 batters in 171 2/3 innings. If he pitches as well (or better) in 2012, he should really cash in this winter. The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner is currently scheduled to become a free agent five days after the end of this year’s World Series.

The Red Sox designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment

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The Boston Red Sox activated Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they made to make room for him on the roster was a big one too: they designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.

Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup. At the moment the Red Sox have the second best offense in all of baseball despite Ramirez’s performance.

Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however and, long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.