The Yankees are MLB “Club Retailer of the Year”

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A week after the MVPs and Cy Youngs are given out: a serious falloff in the prestige of awards. But hey, everyone has a niche in life, and it’s always nice to be honored in one’s niche:

The New York Yankees have been named the 2012 MLB “Club Retailer of the Year” by Major League Baseball Properties for the Club’s commitment to driving merchandise sales.  The Yankees and Legends Hospitality, led by Legends’ GM of Retail, Michael Loparo, earned the honor based on significant improvements to the Yankee Stadium clubhouse store as well as consistent product innovation and reinvention.

“They said it was nuts to go with pinstripes on that baby tee, but fortune favors the bold,” said the Yankees employee accepting the award at the gala banquet that took place in my imagination a few seconds after reading this press release.

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.