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Yankees sign Danny Espinosa to a minor league deal

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The New York Yankees signed infielder Danny Espinosa last night. It’s a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, so he’ll have to play his way onto the team.

That may be a pretty tall order given that Espinosa hit a mere .173/.245/.278 in 93 games for the Angels, Mariners and Rays last season. Still, Espinosa likely has a better chance of getting playing time with the Yankees than a lot of other teams given their current infield situation. At present Ronald Torreyes is penciled in at second base and third base is currently occupied by Miguel Andujar on the depth chart. Not that the Yankees are necessarily done making moves.

If the eight-year veteran does not make a good impression in spring training it may very well be his last major league spring training.

The Red Sox to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment

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The Boston Red Sox plan to activate Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they’re making to make room for him on the roster is a big one too: they plan to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment.

The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the impending transaction. He was told by a major league source that Ramirez was informed this morning he’ll be moved off the roster. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.

Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup.

Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however, and long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.