Indians sign All-Star


Wire Reports



FILE - In this May 9, 2018, file photo, Boston Red Sox's Hanley Ramirez hits a seventh-inning, two-run home run off New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green in a baseball game in New York. Free agent slugger Hanley Ramirez has signed with the Indians, who hope he can give them some power. The 35-year-old Ramirez passed his physical and reported to training camp on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

FILE - In this May 9, 2018, file photo, Boston Red Sox's Hanley Ramirez hits a seventh-inning, two-run home run off New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green in a baseball game in New York. Free agent slugger Hanley Ramirez has signed with the Indians, who hope he can give them some power. The 35-year-old Ramirez passed his physical and reported to training camp on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)


FILE - In this May 9, 2018, file photo, Boston Red Sox's Hanley Ramirez watches his seventh-inning, two-run home run off New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green, during a baseball game in New York. Free agent slugger Hanley Ramirez has signed with the Indians, who hope he can give them some power. The 35-year-old Ramirez passed his physical and reported to training camp on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)


Hanley Ramirez, Indians finalize minor league deal

Tuesday, February 26

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — The Indians want to see if Hanley Ramirez can still swing it.

The free agent slugger finalized a minor league contract on Tuesday with Cleveland, which is looking to replenish some power lost following several offseason moves. The 35-year-old Ramirez passed his physical and reported to training camp, arriving with a Boston Red Sox equipment bag after spending the past four seasons with them.

If added to the 40-man roster, Ramirez would get a $1 million salary while in the major leagues and the chance to earn performance bonuses.

“The hope is that he will be a middle-of-the-order-type bat,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “I told him to tell me when he thinks he’s ready to get in some games. We need to get a look at him, but you can rush it and mess it up.”

Ramirez, who has 269 homers, played in just 44 games with Boston last season before he was released. Ramirez is the only active major leaguer with at least 250 homers and 250 stolen bases and one of just seven with more than 250 homers and 1,000 runs.

Cleveland needs some offensive pop after Michael Brantley left as a free agent and Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso were traded. That trio combined for 72 homers and 266 RBIs in 2018.

The Indians are expected to use Ramirez primarily as a designated hitter, but he can also play some first base. When camp opened, Carlos Santana and Jake Bauers, who can also play in the outfield, were going to share time at those two spots.

Francona said there’s no pressure on Ramirez.

“We ask the same of every single player, show up on time and be a good teammate, try to be as good as you can.” He said. “Whether a guy hit .300 in 1999 or whether he didn’t run a ball out in 2012, doesn’t influence us here.”

A three-time All-Star, Ramirez was voted NL Rookie of the Year in 2006 with Florida.

Ramirez broke into the big leagues as a shortstop and he spent a brief period with Francona in Boston before he was traded in 2005 to the Marlins for pitcher Josh Beckett after just two at-bats in the majors.

AP freelance writer Gary Schatz contributed to this report.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Arenado, Rockies reach 8-yr deal; AP source says worth $260M

By PAT GRAHAM

AP Sports Writer

DENVER (AP) — Nolan Arenado likes where he’s at and the direction the Colorado Rockies are headed.

So he’s staying put. For possibly a long, long time. And for a chance to finish what this team has been brewing.

The All-Star third baseman and Rockies agreed to an eight-year contract on Tuesday, and a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press the deal is worth $260 million. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the dollar value hasn’t been publicly announced.

Arenado’s agreement includes a provision that allows him to opt out after three years and become a free agent.

Arenado’s $32.5 million average annual value is the second-highest in baseball history behind the $34.42 million for pitcher Zack Greinke in a $206.5 million contract with Arizona that began in 2016. Arenado’s deal replaces a $26 million, one-year contract he agreed to Jan. 31.

Arenado, who turns 28 on April 16, was on track to be eligible for free agency after this season. But there’s comfort in remaining at Coors Field, especially in these uncertain days of free agency that have seen Manny Machado unsigned until last week and Bryce Harper still searching for a team with exhibition games underway.

That hasn’t been lost on Arenado, who recently said: “There are some really good baseball players out there, and it is crazy to think some of these teams don’t need them. They need them.”

The Rockies are trending up after making the postseason in back-to-back seasons, a franchise first. Even more, they nearly captured the team’s first NL West title before losing in a tiebreaker at Los Angeles in Game No. 163. The Rockies advanced by beating the Chicago Cubs in the NL wild-card game. They were swept by Milwaukee in the Division Series after hitting .146 against the Brewers and scoring in just one of 28 innings.

New season. A new chapter for a team that’s been to the World Series just once — in 2007, when the Rockies were swept by Boston.

Known for his big bat and his highlight-reel plays at third, Arenado has been the face of the franchise for years. He’s earned a Gold Glove in each of his six major league seasons. A second-round pick by the Rockies in the 2009 amateur draft, Arenado is a career .291 hitter with 186 home runs, 616 RBIs and an .886 OPS.

In 2018, Arenado batted .297 with an NL-leading 38 homers last season, finishing third in MVP voting.

“Obviously, they wanted to keep a homegrown player with them,” Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s a nice deal for him and a nice deal for the team. So it is good for the game and it makes our job a lot tougher.”

This marked the second deal worked out by the front office this week. The team also announced a three-year contract extension for manager Bud Black through 2022.

Over the offseason, the Rockies gave their offense a boost by bringing in Daniel Murphy to play first base. That means Ian Desmond will head to the outfield. They’ll rely heavily on youngsters such as Garrett Hampson, Ryan McMahon or Brendan Rodgers at second base after the departure of DJ LeMahieu to the New York Yankees. Colorado boasts a young rotation led by Kyle Freeland and German Marquez that’s filled with promise.

Arenado, though, will be the driving force.

“It’s pretty safe to say he makes every team he’s on even better,” outfielder Charlie Blackmon said in the offseason of Arenado’s presence. “I really hope that’s with the Rockies for years and years to come.”

That sentiment became a reality.

AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum and AP freelance writer Theresa Smith contributed to this report.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

FILE – In this May 9, 2018, file photo, Boston Red Sox’s Hanley Ramirez hits a seventh-inning, two-run home run off New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green in a baseball game in New York. Free agent slugger Hanley Ramirez has signed with the Indians, who hope he can give them some power. The 35-year-old Ramirez passed his physical and reported to training camp on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2019/02/web1_122404437-5d55fa54d94946e39fac75cc3eec71fb.jpgFILE – In this May 9, 2018, file photo, Boston Red Sox’s Hanley Ramirez hits a seventh-inning, two-run home run off New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green in a baseball game in New York. Free agent slugger Hanley Ramirez has signed with the Indians, who hope he can give them some power. The 35-year-old Ramirez passed his physical and reported to training camp on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

FILE – In this May 9, 2018, file photo, Boston Red Sox’s Hanley Ramirez watches his seventh-inning, two-run home run off New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green, during a baseball game in New York. Free agent slugger Hanley Ramirez has signed with the Indians, who hope he can give them some power. The 35-year-old Ramirez passed his physical and reported to training camp on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2019/02/web1_122404437-f9ff3aebce154310b4b0ed8af727b61d.jpgFILE – In this May 9, 2018, file photo, Boston Red Sox’s Hanley Ramirez watches his seventh-inning, two-run home run off New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green, during a baseball game in New York. Free agent slugger Hanley Ramirez has signed with the Indians, who hope he can give them some power. The 35-year-old Ramirez passed his physical and reported to training camp on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

Wire Reports