ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that pitcher Zack Wheeler won his arbitration case against the Mets. Wheeler filed for $1.9 million and will earn that salary for the 2018 season. The Mets had countered at $1.5 million.
Wheeler, 27, was in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He made 17 starts in 2017, posting a 5.21 ERA with an 81/40 K/BB ratio in 86 1/3 innings. His season ended early, after his July 22 start against the Athletics, due to a stress reaction in his right arm.
Wheeler figures to open the season at the back of the starting rotation. Of course, he will have to prove that he can stay healthy and pitch effectively.
The players are now 7-4 against their respective teams in arbitration hearings this year. Wheeler joins Mookie Betts, Adeiny Hechavarria, Shelby Miller, Ken Giles, Justin Bour, and Yolmer Sanchez as players who have won. Eugenio Suarez, Roberto Osuna, J.T. Realmuto, and Justin Grimm (reported today by Bob Nightengale) have lost.
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.