Nationals: Trump declines offer to throw out first pitch
Indians complete five-year, $26M deal with INF Ramirez.
The Washington Nationals said President Donald Trump declined an invitation to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Monday’s game against the Marlins on opening day at Nationals Park because of a scheduling conflict.
President Barack Obama threw the ceremonial first pitch at the Nationals’ opener in 2010, marking the 100th anniversary of a presidential pitch to start the season. William Howard Taft first did it on April 14, 1910.
Indians: Infielder Jose Ramirez finalized a fiveyear, $26 million contract that includes club options for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. The sides agreed to the pact last week. Ramirez, 24, hit .312 with 46 doubles, 11 home runs, 76 RBIs and 22 steals last season. He also played four positions and hit in every spot in the batting order.
Rays: Outfielder Peter Bourjos was acquired from the White Sox for cash or a player to be named. Bourjos, 29, hit .251 with five homers and 23 RBIs in 123 games with the Phillies last season.
Orioles: Right-hander Alec Asher was acquired from the Phillies for a player to be named or cash. Asher, 26, was 2-7 with a 5.88 ERA in 12 starts for the Phillies in 2015 and 2016. He served an 80-game suspension for steroid use last season, when he went 2-1 with a 2.88 ERA in five starts. “Good, young arm with options,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “I think the plan is for him to come to camp with us and see if we can work him in for an outing.”
Reds: Scooter Gennett was claimed off waivers from the Brewers, giving Cincinnati another option at second base and a utility player off the bench. Gennett, 26, grew up in Cincinnati and will make $2.525 million this season. An offseason trade that sent veteran Brandon Phillips to Atlanta opened the way for Jose Peraza to start the season at second base.
Cubs: Shortstop Addison Russell believes his back has improved to the point where he could return to the lineup as soon as today. Russell will need to show some progress soon as the Cubs move closer to finalizing their 25-man roster by Sunday night’s season opener at St. Louis, but manager Joe Maddon doesn’t believe Russell could be placed on the 10-day disabled list. “Not considering it right now,” Maddon said Tuesday. “I talked to (trainer) PJ Mainville, and he said (Russell) is going to be fine.” Russell, who hasn’t played since last Wednesday, plans to get the bulk of work in games at Houston on Thursday and Friday.
Mets: Right-hander Robert Gsellman struck out six in six innings Tuesday against St. Louis in a late audition to make the team. Asked if he expected Gsellman, 23, would begin the season at Triple-A Las Vegas, Mets manager Terry Collins responded, “I would not. He’s really had a good spring and thrown the ball really well,” Collins said.
Yankees: Catcher Gary Sanchez, who hit 20 homers in 53 games last season after being recalled from Triple-A in August, will bat second in the lineup. Manager Joe Girardi said he was leaning toward having Brett Gardner bat leadoff, followed by Sanchez, Greg Bird, Matt Holliday and Jacoby Ellsbury. Girardi said he had been thinking about breaking up the left-handed hitting Gardner and Ellsbury. “It makes it harder to navigate through our lineup,” Girardi said.
Twins: First baseman/ DH Byung Ho Park homered Tuesday and is hitting .362 with 10 RBIs in 47 spring at-bats.
Outfielder Peter Bourjos, who hit .251 for the Phillies last season, was acquired by the Rays.