Jose Ramirez is expected to be in the Cleveland Indians’ opening day lineup Thursday, four days after fouling a pitch off the area below his left knee.
Manager Terry Francona said Tuesday that Ramirez should be ready to go for the opener at Minnesota. The All-Star third baseman worked out Monday and Tuesday in Arizona, testing his bruised left knee while Cleveland finished its exhibition schedule with games against the Rangers in Texas. Ramirez will join the team for a workout Wednesday in Minnesota.
Ramirez left the field on a cart Sunday in an alarming scene for the Indians, who will already be without star shortstop Francisco Lindor and second baseman Jason Kipnis. Both players are working back from right calf strains.
Ramirez had 39 home runs and 105 RBIs last season, finishing third in AL MVP voting for the second straight year.
Cleveland lost to Texas 5-4 on Tuesday in its final spring training game. Mike Clevinger allowed four runs (two earned) in three innings. He walked two, struck out five and gave up a three-run homer to Nomar Mazara, his first homer of the spring.
NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets agreed to a $137.5 million, five-year contract, a deal that guarantees an additional $120.5 million over four seasons.
New York and deGrom had agreed in January to a $17 million, one-year deal, and he was on track to be eligible for free agency after the 2020 season.
His new deal calls for a $10 million signing bonus, half to be paid in January 2020 and the rest in January 2021. He gets a $7 million salary this season, $23 million in 2020, $33.5 million each in 2021 and 2022 and $30.5 million in 2023. The Mets have a $32.5 million option for 2024.
DeGrom has the right to opt out of the deal after the 2022 season and become a free agent. He also gets the ability to block being traded.
Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs agreed to a contract that adds $55.5 million from 2020-23, guaranteeing he will receive $62,905,000 over the next five seasons.
He had agreed in January to a one-year deal for $7,405,000 and would have been eligible for arbitration next winter.
“I love everything about being a Chicago Cub,” Hendricks said. “I love everything about the city, about the fans and especially about my teammates in the clubhouse. That’s where my focus is at. As much as I’ll revel and be excited about this, our focus 100 percent is on Thursday and the season. That’s what I told the guys in there. I want to be with them as long as I can.”
Arizona outfielder Steven Souza Jr. will require season-ending surgery to repair multiple tears in his left knee after being injured Monday night.
Souza slipped on home plate and his left leg jammed into the ground during an exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox. The Diamondbacks said he has a torn ACL, a torn lateral collateral ligament, a partial tear of his left posterior cruciate ligament, and a tear of his posterior lateral capsule.
“A really unfortunate situation for us and for him,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “We hurt for him right now.”
Souza, the expected starter in right field, will have surgery when the tissue settles down, Lovullo said.
The White Sox confirmed what a $43 million contract seemed to signal: Eloy Jimenez will begin the season in the major leagues.
Chicago’s prized prospect will make his big league debut on opening day at Kansas City on Thursday. Signed as a teenager by the crosstown Cubs out of the Dominican Republic in 2013, Jimenez is one of baseball’s most promising youngsters — and one with historic financial security.
The White Sox announced Jimenez had made the team following a 7-1 exhibition win over Arizona. Jimenez was sent to minor league camp two weeks ago and was unlikely to crack the opening day roster until agreeing to a $43 million, six-year contract Friday, the largest deal ever for a rostered player with no service time. The deal, which also includes team options for 2025 and 2026, took away Chicago’s incentive to stash Jimenez at Triple-A for a few weeks and delay his potential free agency.
Justin Upton will open the season on the injured list because of a sore right big toe. Angels manager Brad Ausmus said Upton has “turf toe” and that no timetable has been determined for his return. Upton was injured in Sunday’s exhibition game against the Los Angeles Dodgers when he bumped into the left-field wall while chasing a flyball.
MORE FROM AROUND SPRING TRAINING
PIRATES 5, ASTROS 1
Houston shortstop Carlos Correa was scratched because of a sore neck.
The Astros don’t think the problem is serious, but there’s a chance Correa won’t be ready for the start of the regular season Thursday. Houston manager AJ Hinch said Correa was “uncomfortable” after being tagged in a rundown Friday. Hinch said Correa has still been doing baseball activities despite not appearing in a game since Friday.
RAYS 9, TIGERS 3
Ryan Yarbrough struck out five over five innings of one-run ball for Tampa Bay, and Ryan Merritt earned a three-inning save. Nate Lowe, Michael Perez and Carl Chester each homered for the Rays.
Matt Moore allowed four runs over three innings in his final tuneup for Detroit. He closed out the spring with a 5.48 ERA.
BRAVES 7, REDS 5
Anthony DeSclafani completed a strong spring camp with four scoreless innings for Cincinnati. He struck out four and allowed two hits and a walk, dropping his ERA to 3.04 in seven appearances. Kyle Farmer homered a day after learning he would replace injured Scooter Gennett on the opening day roster.
Dansby Swanson homered for the Braves. Sean Newcomb allowed two runs in four innings, and Kyle Wright followed by allowing three runs in four innings. Wright is set to pitch Sunday against the Phillies, and Newcomb is expected to slot in during the following series against the Cubs, possibly for Atlanta’s home opener April 1.
TWINS 5, ROCKIES 5
Willians Astudillo walked on four pitches in the first inning for Minnesota, marking his only free pass or strikeout of the exhibition season. An oddball in an age when baseball teams prioritize on-base percentage and don’t mind high strikeout totals, the highly aggressive, contact-oriented Astudillo put the ball in play in all but two of his 54 spring plate appearances — the exceptions were a hit-by-pitch and Tuesday’s walk. Nelson Cruz and C.J. Cron each homered for Minnesota, and Michael Pineda struck out seven in five innings.
Jon Gray allowed both homers, giving up three runs in three innings. Nolan Arenado and Daniel Murphy each went deep.
CUBS 16, RED SOX 7
David Price allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings in his final tuneup, and then said he might pitch in relief during Boston’s season-opening series at Seattle. Price will slot fifth in the rotation after a spring slowed by a norovirus but thought he might work an inning or two in one of Boston’s first two games.
Kyle Schwarber homered off Price, but most of Chicago’s offense came from its backups. Wynton Bernard homered and had three hits and three RBIs, and Phillip Evans had two hits. Addison Russell had three hits in his final spring game before opening the season serving the remainder of his 40-game domestic violence suspension.
PADRES 1, MARINERS 0
Matt Strahm struck out six in three innings for San Diego, and the bullpen allowed just one hit after that. Luis Urias homered for the Padres.
Wade LeBlanc struck out six in 5 1/3 scoreless innings for Seattle. He allowed three hits and no walks.