Blue Jays “have established contact” with Hanley Ramirez

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FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays front office has “established contact” with the reps for free agent infielder Hanley Ramirez, but then adds that the Jays are “not actively pursuing him now.”

This could be a case of due diligence, or the Blue Jays could actually be considering Hanley for third base. Jose Reyes is locked in at shortstop, though he is injury-prone. Brett Lawrie can play second.

Ramirez seems likely to have a slow-developing market this winter because of his lofty contract demands (thought to be near $100 million) and inconsistent health over the past several seasons. He appeared in just 128 games this past year, 86 games in 2013, and 64 games in 2012. The 30-year-old is a .300/.373/.500 career hitter.

The Astros have also checked in on Hanley, but that probably won’t go anywhere.

The Mariners reportedly have strong interest.

Scott Boras to pay salaries of released minor league clients

Scott Boras
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Across the league, scores of minor leaguers have been released in recent days. Already overworked and underpaid, these players are now left without any kind of reliable income during a pandemic, and during a time of civil unrest.

Jon Heyman reports that agent Scott Boras will pay the salaries of his minor league clients who were among those released. It’s a great and much-needed gesture. Boras described the releases as “completely unanticipated.”

Boras, of course, is perhaps the most successful sports agent of all time, so he and his company can afford to do this. That being said, it should be incumbent on the players’ teams — not their agents or their teammates — to take care of them in a time of crisis. Boras is, effectively, subsidizing the billionaire owners’ thriftiness.