Aramis Ramirez balks at rehab stint, set to return Friday

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Out since April 5 with a sprained left knee, Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez is on track to return from the disabled list on Friday.

Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Ramirez would be rejoining the Brewers’ lineup without going on a minor-league rehab assignment first, which is rare this early in a season.

And manager Ron Roenicke admitted to McCalvy that the team would prefer Ramirez go on a rehab stint, but “a player has a right not to rehab” and “you work with whatever player it is, you explain things to him, and they have the decision.”

In other words, Ramirez vetoed playing a few games in the minors to make sure his knee is ready.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.