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?
Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.
Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.
The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.