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Astros, George Springer agree to a two-year, $24 million deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Astros and George Springer have agreed to a two-year, $24 million deal.

The pact buys out this year and next year’s arbitration years for Springer. He’ll have one more year of arbitration eligibility in 2020 before becoming a free agent after that season. Springer was a Super Two, so he was slated to go through arbitration four times. Last year was his first go-around. He ended up settling for $3.9 million before his hearing, so the $12 million average annual salary he’ll make this year and next is a nice raise. For the record, he had requested $10.5 million for this season and the Astros had countered at $8.5 million. Have to figure that, in addition to simply wanting to lock up Springer for the next two seasons, Houston didn’t like its chances in this year’s hearing.

Springer, 28, hit .283/.367/.522 with 34 homers and 85 RBI in 2017. He was also the World Series MVP, putting up a 1.471 OPS with five homers among his 11 hits in the Fall Classic.

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.