Dodgers will make $15.3 million qualifying offer to Hanley Ramirez

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Hanley Ramirez will get a $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Dodgers, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

There’s zero chance of Ramirez accepting the one-year, $15.3 million deal and the Dodgers would obviously be thrilled if for some reason he did, so the offer comes with no risk and guarantees the team will receive draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere.

Ramirez hit .283 with 13 homers, 14 steals, and an .817 OPS in 128 games this season and has an .874 OPS in three seasons with the Dodgers overall. At age 31 he may not be viewed as a shortstop by many teams, but Ramirez will almost surely get a big contract spanning at least 4-5 seasons.

He ranks No. 4 on Matthew Pouliot’s list of the Top 150 Free Agents.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?