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.

Padres fire Andy Green

Andy Green
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The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.

Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:

I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.

In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.

“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”

Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.

For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.