No urgency for Tribe as Winter Meetings wrap

No urgency for Tribe as Winter Meetings wrap

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Indians are not the kind of team that can overreact on the open market and throw huge contract offers around. Cleveland's approach involves being patient and finding the kind of cost-effective deals that can complement what is already a strong roster.

Indians general manager Mike Chernoff still feels the temptation to strike fast to get something done.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians add lefty Milner in Rule 5 Draft

Indians add lefty Milner in Rule 5 Draft

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Indians know they have one of the best left-handed relievers in the game in Andrew Miller. What Cleveland would like to do this offseason is improve the level of lefty depth behind Miller in the team's talented bullpen.

The Indians took a step in that direction on Thursday, when the club wrapped up the Winter Meetings by taking lefty Hoby Milner with the 15th pick in the Rule 5 Draft. Cleveland grabbed Milner off the Triple-A roster of the Phillies and will bring the reliever to Spring Training with a chance to win a job in the Tribe's Opening Day bullpen.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians hire Harris as new Minor League director

The Indians have hired James Harris as the club's new farm director.

Harris spent last season serving as a special assistant to baseball operations in the Pirates' organization after previously spending the majority of his career in football.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tribe taking patient approach in 1B search

Cleveland emerges as potential landing spot for Encarnacion

Tribe taking patient approach in 1B search

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Indians are sitting back and waiting. Heading into this offseason, Cleveland knew that might be the most prudent approach for this winter's crop of first basemen. It is the approach that has helped the club emerge as a surprising contender for free-agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion.

When Encarnacion's name was linked to the Tribe on Monday, it seemed like a pipe dream for the Indians. By Day 3 of the Winter Meetings on Wednesday, Cleveland signing the first baseman still felt improbable -- given the way the team typically operates -- but it no longer seems impossible. Given the way the market has developed, the Indians look more and more like a realistic landing spot.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Win-now Indians stand out in AL Central

Tribe built to contend for years while much of division in transition

Win-now Indians stand out in AL Central

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Rival executives have been impressed by the prospect haul that the White Sox have netted in trades over the past two days at the Winter Meetings. One American League evaluator opined that Chicago has set itself up to realistically contend in a few years.

Looking to the future seems to be the sudden trend within the AL Central. The Twins are in a transitional phase with a new front office, the Royals' window appears to be closing, the Tigers have hefty contracts they would like to move, and the White Sox have started the rebuilding process. The lone exception is the AL-champion Indians, who are built to win now and conceivably for the next several seasons.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians schedule Tribe Fest '17 for Jan. 28

Indians schedule Tribe Fest '17 for Jan. 28

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Each winter when Tribe Fest arrives, Indians fans know that another season is right around the corner. Cleveland's followers can now mark their calendars and begin counting down the day's until the team's marquee offseason event.

On Wednesday, the American League-champion Indians announced that Tribe Fest 2017 will be held from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. ET on Jan. 28 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Cleveland. The hotel is located roughly four miles east of Progressive Field near the Cleveland Clinic campus.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Length of deal sticking point for Napoli, Tribe

Player, club have both expressed interest in ironing out slugger's return

Length of deal sticking point for Napoli, Tribe

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Mike Napoli would love to keep the party going in Cleveland for two more seasons. The free-agent slugger is just waiting for the Indians to come calling with the kind of multiyear contract that will convince him to re-sign as their first baseman.

Napoli's camp met with the Indians' brass on Monday during Day 1 of the Winter Meetings at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, but no follow-up meeting was scheduled as of Tuesday morning. The Indians' preference is to bring Napoli back on a one-year deal, while he is seeking a multiyear contract and is confident about securing such a deal this offseason.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Needing OF depth, Tribe could re-sign Davis

'He's obviously a guy that we're in touch with,' GM Chernoff said

Needing OF depth, Tribe could re-sign Davis

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Adding a first baseman is a priority for the Indians this offseason, but Cleveland is also exploring the market for added depth in the outfield. Versatility and speed are the main attributes sought by the Tribe, which received just that from veteran Rajai Davis last season.

As things currently stand, the Indians project to have Michael Brantley in left field, Tyler Naquin in center and Lonnie Chisenhall in right. Brandon Guyer offers depth in the corners and Abraham Almonte can provide protection for all three outfield spots. Davis, who led the American League with 43 steals and played left and center in 2016 for the Tribe, is a free agent again this winter.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bolstering offense a priority for Indians

Free agent Encarnacion an option, although he would cost a Draft pick

Bolstering offense a priority for Indians

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Free-agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion fits precisely what the Indians need. The problem is the cost, which exceeds the range in which Cleveland typically operates. 

This is no ordinary offseason for the Tribe, though. Cleveland arrived to the Winter Meetings at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center as the reigning American League champions, and improving its offense is the top priority. The Indians already shocked baseball by giving up a pile of prospects for reliever Andrew Miller last summer. Perhaps it should not be surprising Encarnacion's name popped up Monday as a possibility, too.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians connected to slugger Encarnacion

First baseman/designated hitter reportedly seeking four- or five-year deal

Indians connected to slugger Encarnacion

The market for free-agent designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion continues to be fluid as the Winter Meetings get underway.

The Rangers and Indians are expressing interest in the 33-year-old slugger, according to ESPN's Buster Olney and Yahoo's Jeff Passan, respectively.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miller not yet sure if he'll pitch for Team USA

Indians reliever piled up plenty of innings during 2016

Miller not yet sure if he'll pitch for Team USA

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Andrew Miller nearly helped the Indians to a World Series title, and now the relief ace is weighing whether to help Team USA go for gold in the World Baseball Classic in March.

On Monday at the Winter Meetings, Team USA manager Jim Leyland and Joe Torre, Team USA's general manager, both indicated that Miller is on the team's initial roster for the Classic. Torre said Miller would "be a great addition" to Team USA's roster.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Swain named Fishel Award winner

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The postseason was not only an opportunity for the Indians' players to show their talents, but Bart Swain, Cleveland's director of baseball information, felt it was also a chance for the team's media relations team to put its abilities on display.

On Monday, Swain was honored with the 2016 Robert O. Fishel Award for public relations excellence, though he considered the accolade as a reflection of his entire team. In responding to the honor, Swain borrowed from the words of manager Terry Francona, who won the American League Manager of the Year Award.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians honor Forde's honor with unique auction items

Indians honor Forde's honor with unique auction items

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Indians are thrilled to participate in the fifth annual Play Ball Charity Auction, especially since it will honor the memory of Shannon Forde.

Forde, who was the Mets' senior media relations director, passed away in March at the age of 44 due to breast cancer, and she was admired throughout the game. On Monday at the Winter Meetings, it was announced that this year's auction will raise money for renovation of a baseball and softball field in Forde's name in her hometown of Little Ferry, N.J.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lindor commits to World Baseball Classic

Lindor commits to World Baseball Classic

With the World Baseball Classic just a few months away, the rosters are beginning to take shape. More names surfaced Monday as the World Baseball Classic released an initial list of 30 players who are confirmed to be participating in the 2017 tournament.

Spanning 16 countries, the players include 24 Major League All-Stars, but the upcoming WBC, which will take place in March, provides a global stage for veterans and rising stars alike.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zimmer, Allen on Fall League's Top Prospects Team

Selected by AFL managers and coaches, the team recognizes 24 players who stood out

Zimmer, Allen on Fall League's Top Prospects Team

The 2016 Arizona Fall League came to an end on Nov. 19, when the Mesa Solar Sox, powered by a two-homer, 4-for-4 performance from Cubs top prospect Ian Happ, defeated the Surprise Saguaros, 6-1, in the championship game at Scottsdale Stadium.

Since then, MLBPipeline.com has broken down this year's impressive contingent of Fall League participants in different ways, highlighting the circuit's top performers and breakout prospects and even constructing an All-AFL Team.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ramirez earns Bob Feller Man of Year Award

Francona receives Good Guy honor from Cleveland BBWAA

Ramirez earns Bob Feller Man of Year Award

CLEVELAND -- When considering who was the Indians' best player from this past season, there are many candidates and no correct answer. Ace Corey Kluber would be a fine choice, as would energetic shortstop Francisco Lindor. Jason Kipnis, Carlos Santana and Mike Napoli had career years. Andrew Miller dominated in the bullpen.

Then, there was Jose Ramirez.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians' longtime press box supervisor gets 'Popper' honor

Cleveland BBWAA establishes John Krepop Special Achievement Award

Indians' longtime press box supervisor gets 'Popper' honor

CLEVELAND -- John Krepop only informed a select few people that he was calling it a career and moving to Florida. In the days following Game 7 of the World Series, word began to spread that the Indians had just played their final game with the man affectionately known as "Popper" watching from the Progressive Field press box.

It was true to Krepop's character that he kept his news quiet.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians non-tender reliever Manship

Tribe offers contracts to eight other arbitration-eligible players

Indians non-tender reliever Manship

CLEVELAND -- The bullpen was a strength for the Indians down the stretch last season and a force throughout the postseason. With most of the group returning, that aspect of Cleveland's roster should be formidable once again next year, but the cost of the club's relief corps is rising.

That combination of depth and price led to Friday's decision not to tender a contract to reliever Jeff Manship, who now joins this offseason's free-agent pool. The Indians did offer one-year pacts to their other arbitration-eligible relievers: closer Cody Allen, setup man Bryan Shaw, and right-handers Dan Otero and Zach McAllister.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Francona to miss Winter Meetings after hip surgery

Francona to miss Winter Meetings after hip surgery

CLEVELAND -- The Indians lean heavily on manager Terry Francona when it comes to making roster decisions. During the Winter Meetings next week, team president Chris Antonetti and his front-office team will have to keep Francona looped in via phone calls and texts.

MLB.com confirmed on Thursday night that Francona will miss the Winter Meetings while recovering from right hip surgery, which he underwent shortly after the conclusion of the World Series. After Francona won the American League Manager of the Year Award in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America last month, the manager joked about the procedure in a conference call with reporters.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

New agreement includes change to home-field advantage in World Series

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

IRVING, Texas -- Major League Baseball's players and owners reached a tentative five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement through the 2021 season on Wednesday night. The parties will follow up today with a formal document, which then must be ratified by representatives of both sides. 

At 8:40 p.m. ET, an assortment of happy players, owners, lawyers and staffers poured from meeting rooms to exchange handshakes and hugs. That's how quickly 36 hours of round-the-clock negotiations ended, nearly four hours before today's deadline of 12:01 a.m. ET to reach a deal. Short of an agreement, the sport was faced with the best-case scenario of an extension or owners could have imposed a lockout.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians invite Martinez, Kratz to Spring Training

Indians invite Martinez, Kratz to Spring Training

CLEVELAND -- For the past two years, Michael Martinez has provided the Indians with insurance and depth as a sound defensive option around the diamond. Cleveland has opted to bring the versatile utility man back for another season.

On Thursday, the Indians signed both Martinez and catcher Erik Kratz to Minor League contracts that include invitations to attend Spring Training with the Major League club. That brings Cleveland's non-roster invitees list up to four, including catcher Guillermo Quiroz and outfielder Daniel Robertson.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Antonetti named Baseball America's top exec

Antonetti named Baseball America's top exec

CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona rightfully gets credit for how he pulls the levers, but Chris Antonetti is the one who built the machine. The roster maneuverings of Cleveland's president of baseball operations were critical in the Tribe's run to the World Series this past year.

For his part in the Indians' success, Antonetti has been named the Major League Executive of the Year by Baseball America. The roster constructed by Antonetti and his front-office team -- a cast built mostly through trades and the MLB Draft -- captured the franchise's first division title since 2007 and first American League pennant since '97, and then engaged in an historic seven-game Series with the Cubs.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

The Next Big Leaguers: Indians' Zimmer

A team-by-team look at future key contributors who starred in the 2016 Arizona Fall League

The Next Big Leaguers: Indians' Zimmer

The Arizona Fall League always is loaded with talent, and it was stronger than usual in 2016. In the initial installment of MLBPipeline.com's "The Next Big Leaguers," which premieres Tuesday, we focused on five prospects: Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger, Twins shortstop Nick Gordon, Cubs outfielder Eloy Jimenez, Red Sox infielder Yoan Moncada and Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres.

We could have spotlighted many more promising prospects if not limited by time constraints, and below we'll do exactly that.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians' season of giving continues at holiday

Club hosts Thanksgiving feast at Progressive Field for those less fortunate

Indians' season of giving continues at holiday

CLEVELAND -- As winter threatened and some snowflakes floated down towards the outfield grass, a section of dormant Progressive Field was warm with activity Sunday afternoon. Children chased mascots and families sat down to share a meal, while overlooking the Indians' home field.

It has been a season of giving for the Indians, who captured an American League Central title and AL pennant in a memorable year for the franchise. With the holiday season here, the team also wanted to continue giving back to its community with a Thanksgiving feast at the ballpark.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tribe signs Robertson, outrights Martinez

Tribe signs Robertson, outrights Martinez

CLEVELAND -- Having versatility and depth is a priority for the Indians each offseason. A pair of roster moves on Wednesday were made with both aspects in mind.

The Indians signed free-agent outfielder Daniel Robertson to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to attend Spring Training with the big league club. The Tribe also outrighted utility man Michael Martinez off the 40-man roster, but the team valued the defensive protection he provided last season and still hopes to keep him in the fold with a Minor League deal.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Trio of Indians among Top 25 Fall League prospects

Trio of Indians among Top 25 Fall League prospects

While the most talented team doesn't always win the championship, it did in the Arizona Fall League. The Mesa Solar Sox wrapped up the East Division crown on the final day of the regular season before rolling to an easy victory in the AFL's one-game playoff for its first title since 2003.

Mesa had the league's deepest lineup, as evidenced by its seven hitters who rank among the AFL's 20 best prospects below. The Solar Sox had star power with outfielders Eloy Jimenez (Cubs) and Bradley Zimmer (Indians) and second baseman Ian Happ (Cubs), all of whom sit in the 20s on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list. They also had emerging talents such as shortstop Yu-Cheng Chang and outfielder Greg Allen, who have been overshadowed in a deep Indians system, and league home run leader Brian Anderson (Marlins No. 4 prospect), who had support for making our list.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

5 reasons for Indians fans to be thankful

5 reasons for Indians fans to be thankful

CLEVELAND -- It is the season of giving thanks and the Tribe gave its fans plenty of reasons to be thankful this year. Cleveland won its division, captured a pennant and took part in one of the great World Series showdowns in baseball history.

The Indians came up just short in the Fall Classic against the Cubs, but there are a number of reasons for Tribe fans to be hopeful about Cleveland's chances for creating more October memories in seasons to come. Here are five reasons for fans to be thankful about how the Indians are situated for this offseason and the future:

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Manny makes Hall of Fame ballot debut

Prolific hitter known for postseason heroics, offbeat persona

Manny makes Hall of Fame ballot debut

BOSTON -- A hitting machine from the right side of the plate who also happened to be one of the most unforgettable characters of his era, Manny Ramirez is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.

The statistics are clearly Cooperstown-worthy. Ramirez had a slash line of .312/.411/.585 over his 19-year career while clubbing 555 homers with 1,831 RBIs. He was also a force in the postseason, helping lead the Red Sox to World Series championships in 2004 and '07 before producing some October heroics for the Dodgers in '08 and '09.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.