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MLB Roundup: Manny Ramirez leaves Taiwan

The SportsXchange

Former major-leaguer Manny Ramirez is off the roster of the EDA Rhinos in Taiwan and reportedly will leave the country on Thursday.

The 41-year-old Ramirez played 49 games for the Rhinos in the Chinese Professional Baseball League and hit .352 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs in 206 plate appearances.

Ramirez's contract reportedly has an opt-out clause that allows him to pursue other opportunities, and there were indications that the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan were interested in him. But his destination remains uncertain.

Ramirez last played in the major leagues in 2011 for Tampa Bay. After five games with the Rays, he was suspended for 100 games by Major League Baseball for a second failed drug test that was cut in half when he sat out the remainder of the season.

In 19 major league seasons, Ramirez had a career .312 batting average with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBI.

---Alex Rodriguez was visited during the American League Championship Series last year by Biogenesis clinic founder Anthony Bosch when the New York Yankees third baseman requested his help, according to a former Bosch associate.

Porter Fischer, a marketing director for the south Florida clinic at the center of a Major League Baseball investigation into a performance-enhancing drugs scandal, supposedly visited Rodriguez in Detroit during the ALCS in October. Rodriguez struggled during the postseason and the Yankees were swept by the Tigers.

The Yankees said they were not aware of Bosch being in Detroit for the ALCS, according to the New York Daily News.

Fischer told the Miami New Times, which broke the Biogenesis story earlier this year, that MLB paid him $5,000 for clinic records that he gave to investigators.

ESPN's Outside the Lines reported that Fischer and Bosch had a falling out last year after Bosch refused to return Fischer's $20,000 investment in the clinic. Bosch eventually gave Fischer the money, plus an additional $4,000 that Fischer demanded and Rodriguez paid after Bosch told Rodriguez that Fischer threatened to blow the whistle on the clinic.

New Times also reported that Fischer provided it with the Biogenesis documents in January in an attempt to get back at Bosch over the disputed money. Fischer went on to say that MLB offered him an additional $10,000 and other incentives for documents he had taken from the clinic.

---San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a mild left hamstring strain.

The Padres recalled outfielder Jaff Decker from Triple-A Tucson on Wednesday to take Cabrera's roster spot.

The injury occurred Sunday when Cabrera was attempting to steal second base in the eighth iinning.

Cabrera is tied for the major-league lead in stolen bases with 31 and is batting .305. He also leads the team in runs (37) and hits (84).

Cabrera joins a Padres injury list that includes secod baseman Jedd Gyorko, first baseman Yonder Alonso and center fielder Cameron Maybin.

---Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley began a rehab assignment with Double-A Reading.

The 34-year old veteran has been out since May 20 with a strained right oblique. He's expected to play no more than two games in the minors and then possibly be activated by the Phillies for the weekend.

Utley's rehab stint was expected to start Tuesday, but Reading's game was rained out.

---The Houston Astros signed right-handed pitcher Mark Appel, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In his senior season at Stanford, Appel went 10-4 with four complete games and a 2.12 ERA. He logged 130 strikeouts in 106 1/3 innings.

The Astros had a chance last year to draft the 21-year-old Appel, who grew up in west Houston, but passed on him and the Pittsburgh Pirates ended up selecting Appel at No. 8 overall. But Appel rejected the Pirates' $3.8 million offer to return to Stanford for his final collegiate season.
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