The Cubs made a very curious decision to option reliever Neil Ramirez to Triple-A Iowa on Saturday despite his 0.96 ERA in 28 innings, but now ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers reports that the option has been voided and Ramirez has been transferred to the 15-day major league disabled list with a sore triceps.
Cubs GM Jed Hoyer acknowledged to Rogers on Tuesday that he had “talked to the Major League Baseball Players Association, as resting a player by demoting him to the minor leagues could be viewed as an attempt to save on a major league salary.”
Those are Rogers’ words, not Hoyer’s. Perhaps the MLBPA threatened to file a grievance?
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports Thursday that the Orioles “are said to have begun fielding calls of interest” on superstar Manny Machado and “are close to the point of seriously weighing whether to trade him.”
You’d think it would be a no-brainer for the last-place O’s to flip Machado — an impending free agent — for prospects, but Heyman notes there is “still a question whether or not longtime Orioles owner Peter Angelos” will give the go-ahead. One person familiar with the situation put it a “50-50” likelihood. Another suggested that it would take a massive return, which, sure.
Machado entered play Thursday with a sensational .328/.405/.635 batting line, 15 home runs, and an MLB-leading 43 RBI in 49 games. It’d be a real shock if he’s still wearing an O’s uniform by the end of July.
Heyman reported previously that at least nine teams made aggressive plays for Machado this winter, including the Cubs, Phillies, Dodgers, Indians, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, and Cardinals. A whole lot of those teams still make sense here in late May — maybe all of them except the White Sox.