Cubs Claim Max Ramirez

Max Ramirez has been claimed on waivers for the second time in six days. This time, the Cubs claimed him from the Red Sox, according to the teams. The Red Sox claimed Ramirez from the Rangers last week after working to acquire him for Mike Lowell last offseason. For the second consecutive winter, the Red Sox have had Ramirez within their grasp only to lose him.

Ramirez will restore some of the catching depth the Cubs lost when they sent Robinson Chirinos to the Rays in last week's Matt Garza trade. Ramirez appeared in 28 games for the Rangers last year and posted a .217/.341/.348 line in 85 plate appearances. The 26-year-old has spent most of his seven-year pro career in the minors, where he has a .298/.396/.476 line. 

Before the 2010 season, Baseball America wrote that Ramirez is "a plus hitter who works the count and drives the ball to all fields" when healthy. However, the publication described the catcher as a below-average defender with below-average arm strength and well below-average running speed.

The out-of-options catcher could compete with Welington Castillo and Koyie Hill to back up Geovany Soto.


84 Responses to Cubs Claim Max Ramirez Leave a Reply

  1. The poor guy should just find out who he is playing for come Spring Training, and then go to that facility.

  2. RedSoxDynasty 4 years ago

    SHOULD HAVE BEEN ATCHINSON.

  3. Seriously, Boston wanted this guy forever…and then to just drop him a few days after picking him up..lol…Maybe a Jack of All Trades candidates in the making

  4. $6101468 4 years ago

    Max – We hardly knew ye……

  5. qbass187 4 years ago

    Huh? This story is completely unclear? Did the SOX put him on waivers or did the CUBS also claim him?
    It SOUNDS like the SOX put him on waivers to try to pass him through and reassign him to the minors but the story is so vauge I’m not really sure…

    • As bdcape points out, the Sox tried to sneak Ramirez through waivers because they needed his spot on the 40 man roster for Hideki Okajima.

    • went9 4 years ago

      Thr Red Sox claimed Max Ram last week and to make room for Okajima on the 40 man today Ramirez was waived then claimed by the Cubs for their 40 man roster. He has no option years left so he may be waived again during spring training if he doesn’t have a solid showing at camp. March 14th (30 days termination pay) and 28th (45 days termination pay) are the two unconditional release waiver deadline days.

  6. Funny that much of the hand-wringing over whether the Cubs paid too much for Garza centered on 27 year-old Robinson Chirinos, who the Cubs have done a decent job of replacing for the cost of a waiver claim on 26 year-old Ramirez.

    • thejerkstore 4 years ago

      Now if the Red Sox would just release a 22 year old starter and 20 year old shortstop with upside………

    • jb226 4 years ago

      For starters, you’re making things up because you liked the deal and need an excuse to take a passive-aggressive swipe at those who don’t. Chirinos was one of the pieces that people care LEAST about getting rid of; it’s Archer and Lee that there is “hand-wringing” about. Chirinos was a nice piece, but obviously blocked by Soto and there is still Castillo and Brenly in the farm. He was trade bait whether he went to Tampa Bay or the Rangers or somewhere else.

      Second, even if we assume your fallacy is true, claiming a catcher who can’t catch is hardly a replacement for Chirinos. Unless of course you think a below-average catcher with below-average arm is actually going to stick at catcher. Yeah, we replaced his spot on the roster for about ten minutes; with no options left, we’re almost certainly going to end up waiving him and hoping for the best anyway.

      And as far as your absolutely ridiculous comments below this, he wasn’t traded for Fuld and Guyer and you damn well know it. The Rays got what they got. Wanting to replace the prospects we lost is hardly as stupid as you make it out to be, particularly when YOU are the one who started that line of thinking and the person who responded was obviously joking and it isn’t going to happen. The deal is done. If they’re somehow magically able to replace everything they gave away for free, then lulz at the teams who are being idiots and letting prospects of that caliber through. It has nothing to do with Garza or Tampa Bay.

      • Sometimes posts are only about what they are about. Like here: all I was saying was the Cubs essentially replaced one old-ish catching prospect with a promising bat for another. Even taking into account defensive differences, it’s really closer to gaining back that value than any Cubs fan had a right to expect from a waiver claim. That is it. That is what I am saying.

        I didn’t say that Chirinos and Ramirez were of precisely equal value or that this somehow balances out the degree to which the Cubs overpaid for Garza. Supposing that I secretly believe these things and getting angry at me for them is just being hostile for the sake of having something to say.

        As for the bit about people wringing their hands over Chirinos. I’m not making up anything, just referring to how so many commenters focused their frustration on the trade on Chirinos. (Wasn’t there also a Fangraphs piece on the trade fixating almost exclusively in Chirinos?) So many folks seem to recognize that including someone like Archer was a given, but get pushed over the edge at the thought of giving up a possibly ready-for-prime-time catcher. And that’s all I was speaking about. I didn’t attempt to characterize ALL reaction to the trade as fitting this mold. You could get mad at me for doing that, but since I didn’t, it’s an odd use of your time and ours.

        As for the “absolutely ridiculous comments” below this… Criminy, how did you miss that those were *supposed* to be ridiculous? I was kidding thejerkstore for saying that the Cubs should follow up this claim with one for a 22 y/o SP and a 20 y/o SS. Because if you really think the Cubs would only be breaking even if they hadn’t lost Archer and Lee, Fuld and Guyer are what’s left. And obviously, that’s taking it too far. Hence, my joke.

        You see, I could have gone off and taken thejerkstore’s tossed-off comments overly literally or gotten weirdly angry about them, but instead I just ribbed him with a one-liner.

        You might try lightening up yourself.

        I will never understand what fuels the people who seem to expect every tossed off comment or one-liner to be fully annotated and footnoted, with every shade of every aspect discussed at length, lest you provoke their rage.

        Crikey. Don’t you see how boring these overly detailed posts are for everybody except the two guys butting heads? Maybe we could just give people a little credit and take small points for what they are. No?

  7. soxin10 4 years ago

    I guess they needed a spot for Oki, but I wonder what made them keep Wagner over Ramirez? My only thought is that the sox see Ramirez as a DH only and weren’t willing to hold a spot for him based on that.

    • bdcape 4 years ago

      Wagner has options left, Ramirez doesn’t. Wagner can also catch regularly at AAA, while Ramirez can’t. I agree with you — I thought it would be Wagner as Ramirez has far more MLB upside, but it appears Theo rolled the dice trying to sneak him through.

  8. bdcape 4 years ago

    The Cubs couldn’t claim Ramirez a week ago without waiving and possibly losing another player of value. But after moving the crudload of prospects in the Garza trade, they had two vacancies on their 40-man roster. The Sox had to DFA someone to make room for Okajima once his contract became official, but I really thought it would be Mark Wagner.

    • Why Wagner? The Sox have been high on him for years for his defensive and game calling abilities. He’s yet to even get a chance at the Majors. It wouldn’t make any sense to just simply give up on him before giving him a chance.

      • bdcape 4 years ago

        Because Wagner will never, ever hit at the major league level. Yes, he’s a plus defender, but he’s purely a guy they can call up in case of an emergency. In terms of his ceiling, he’s about 5th among Sox catching prospects right now — behind Exposito, Lavarnway, Federowicz and Ibarra.

        • MaineSox 4 years ago

          But he’s the only one who is considered ready for a potential call-up right now. The others all need more time in the minors for one reason or another.

  9. If Max is such a good hitter, and such a bad defender, why not move him to 1B?

    • bdcape 4 years ago

      That was likely the Red Sox’ plan. A possible Ortiz replacement in 2012 who could play 1B and also catch in an emergency.

      • MaineSox 4 years ago

        Not a bad thought, but I think he was expendable because both Anderson (if he shows he can still hit after a down year last year) and Lavarnway (if he doesn’t pan out at catcher) would be ahead of him as an Ortiz replacement, both of them having more offensive upside than Ramirez.

        • bdcape 4 years ago

          Can’t argue with that, especially on Lars. But Ramirez is an RHH and the Sox’ lineup figures to be extremely LHH-heavy for the next few years.

  10. Rotoworld says he hit “just” .286/.373/.381 at AAA. That’s not exactly bad for a free catcher.

    • bdcape 4 years ago

      The people who write the transaction comments for Rotoworld are morons.

      • AJCBE 4 years ago

        They’re so condescending too. I get annoyed when they call players “useless.” They word their posts so unprofessionally.

  11. went9 4 years ago

    Wagner has one option year remaining so he can start the season in AAA without having to go through waivers.
    Not the case with Max Ram.

  12. rangersfan32 4 years ago

    If Max can ever stay healthy he will be a good major league hitter, but he doesn’t have the defense or the arm to be a catcher, that’s what is really going to hold him back.

    • bdcape 4 years ago

      Yup. His value is especially limited in the NL. It’s first base or bust.

      • Thats what I don’t get, if the Cubs plan on converting him to a 1B thats gonna be hard without any options, unless they stick Castillo down in AAA to start and same with Hill, then carry him as the back up for Soto and Pena..But even that isn’t a great plan

        • bdcape 4 years ago

          Well, there’s a small chance he rips the cover off the ball in spring training and becomes a trade chip. Other than that, you’re completely right.

        • bdcape 4 years ago

          Well, there’s a small chance he rips the cover off the ball in spring training and becomes a trade chip. Other than that, you’re completely right.

  13. Keep your hands inside the Max Ramirez ride at all times–where he stops, nobody knows!

  14. Keep your hands inside the Max Ramirez ride at all times–where he stops, nobody knows!

  15. woadude 4 years ago

    Ok, I am lost here, but when a player is claimed isnt it 10 days to work out a trade or the player can be pulled back or what?

  16. disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

    Maybe he is the back-up at 1st base, emergency 3rd catcher and pinch hitter.

    Here is a move for Hendry to make. Sign Soriano to be the right handed set up guy for Marmol. He is also your closer for when Marmol forgets how to throw strikes.
    Move Cashner to your 5th starter and see what you can get for Gorzelanny and Wells in a deal with Detroit.

    • That would be awesome, but I dont know if we have the money to sign him to a big deal that he wants

    • They already did that…i.e. KERRY WOOD. No way they have the cash for Soriano.

      • disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

        Wood was a great signing for the money, but do you trust him as your go to set up guy over a 6 month long season?
        I agree the Cubs won’t spend the money, but with Derrick Lee’s , Ted Lilly’s, and Xavier Nady’s money coming off the books this year, and even more next year, I think the money could be there.

        • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

          Not when he payroll gets cut.

        • Wrek305 4 years ago

          Wood needs to be the Closer not the set up man be has the Mariano cutter .. perfect weapon for a closer unless he can teach it to Marmol after he learns how to throw

    • You have Wood and Marshall as you set-up men boss.

      2B/3B/1B/RF/LF-Jeff Baker, OF-Kosuke Fukudome, 2B/SS-Darwin Barney, OF- Fernando Perez, and C-Wellington Castillo/Ramirez/Hill seem to make up the bench.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      I agree with the the Detroit part….the CUBS should go after Ryan Raeburn. Soriano ain’t happening.

      • Wrek305 4 years ago

        Raeburn is horse S***

        • Guest 4 years ago

          so you know him personally. LOL.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            Gee, that narrows down his baseball abilities. How could I possibly debate that?

      • golga333 4 years ago

        How about Scott Sizemore?

        • Guest 4 years ago

          Like it. Don’t think it’s happening tho. Looks like Penny is signing with the Tigers.

  17. disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

    Maybe he is the back-up at 1st base, emergency 3rd catcher and pinch hitter.

    Here is a move for Hendry to make. Sign Soriano to be the right handed set up guy for Marmol. He is also your closer for when Marmol forgets how to throw strikes.
    Move Cashner to your 5th starter and see what you can get for Gorzelanny and Wells in a deal with Detroit.

  18. MadmanTX 4 years ago

    Wow. Didn’t know the Sox put Max on waivers. Shocking, considering how badly they seemed to want him.

  19. MadmanTX 4 years ago

    Wow. Didn’t know the Sox put Max on waivers. Shocking, considering how badly they seemed to want him.

  20. crunchy1 4 years ago

    Not a bad replacement for Chirinos if he can stay at catcher. Admittedly that’s a big IF. He may even have the better bat. We don’t need a starting catcher anyway. We just need a guy who can spell Soto once in a while and maybe be a good bat off the bench.

  21. Anybody is better then Koyie Hill

    • Wrek305 4 years ago

      Now just replace Koyie Hill with Geonavy Soto.. when Hill starts the Cubs are 40 games over .500 If Soto starts they are lucking to have a .500 winning Pct at all

  22. i wonder of he can back up 1st base. not sure if the cubs have a plan for that yet, unless they stick with baker. over the last few years we have had countless options to back it up, nady, fox, hoffpauir, ward, derosa. anybody heard what the plan is? might be something to ask at the cubs convention this weekend.

  23. i wonder of he can back up 1st base. not sure if the cubs have a plan for that yet, unless they stick with baker. over the last few years we have had countless options to back it up, nady, fox, hoffpauir, ward, derosa. anybody heard what the plan is? might be something to ask at the cubs convention this weekend.

  24. I think the Cubs are gonna check out Ramirez to see what he might be, and depending, might move him in a deal this spring. I think Koyie Hill was Piniella’s favorite and won’t be on the Major League roster. If Ramirez makes the team, Castillo will be back at AAA where he can continue to work on his hitting. It’s not bad to have too many as long as they’re decent.

  25. I like this move. The Cubs fully lack any offensive thump from the right side off the bench, and Ramirez might be able to spell Pena against an elite LHP at 1st occasionally. And with Dempster, Zambrano, Garza…they could elect for a 6 man pen and a 6 deep bench at least until the 5th starter is fully necessary (usually week 3-4 of the season). And if he doesn’t work out, you just cut him.

  26. Wrek305 4 years ago

    Nice pick up.. Max Ramirez will be the starter by the end of May .. Castillo will end up being a back up and Soto will be gone.. Not to mention both are better then Soto anyway..

    • BornRed 4 years ago

      Well you could take 5 minutes to look up his numbers on Baseball-Reference.com instead of just making up statistics. He actually has thrown out 25% of runners for his career and has a career BA of .268. “there the proof” Never another season like his rookie year? Well last year’s .280/.393/.497 line looks pretty similar to his .285/.364/.504 line from his rookie year. Pretty weird that he actually went up hill in 2010, but I’m sure you’re right.

    • BornRed 4 years ago

      Well you could take 5 minutes to look up his numbers on Baseball-Reference.com instead of just making up statistics. He actually has thrown out 25% of runners for his career and has a career BA of .268. “there the proof” Never another season like his rookie year? Well last year’s .280/.393/.497 line looks pretty similar to his .285/.364/.504 line from his rookie year. Pretty weird that he actually went up hill in 2010, but I’m sure you’re right.

  27. Guest 4 years ago

    Soto never had a good year aside from his rookie year. What about last year? Castro’s lazy. Soto will be out of baseball in 2-3 years tops. You’re a Cubs fan right???

    • Wrek305 4 years ago

      sadly i am a cubs fan .. its a curse it really it.. Chicago sports in general is a curse..
      we have high hopes every year just to watch them fall flat on their faces and be out of the race in May-June

  28. Wrek305 4 years ago

    why was my comment removed?

  29. Guest 4 years ago

    Chicago sports isn’t a curse. The Cubs just need to get over the fact that their team isn’t about Wrigley Field and marketing. When they do that, they’ll win a championship.

  30. kipnis4040 4 years ago

    He isn’t done yet, he is too good to be on the waiver wire lol. so yep until he gets tothe absolute worst team in the league i wont be surprised of waiver claims. Not to mention u can never have to many catchers.
    follow me @camfrommaine on twitter

  31. RedSoxDynasty 4 years ago

    Let’s see how valuable he is when he’s put on waivers at the end of ST! Good competitor but not good enough to make this staff!

  32. RedSoxDynasty 4 years ago

    2-3 and 4.50 era in 45 innings by a 35 yr old journeyman is about as special as that drunk girl who’s missing teeth that wants to take you home to cuddle is! Lol!

  33. MaineSox 4 years ago

    How valuable is a catcher who can’t catch and hasn’t shown the ability to hit in the majors though?

  34. bdcape 4 years ago

    So you’re saying the Sox should have just waived Atchison — a guy 100% certain to be claimed now by another team — rather than waiting until Spring Training when (a) Theo could trade him on a very club-friendly contract to a team needing bullpen help, (b) the Sox would stand a better chance of getting him through waivers just before the season when a lot of MLB clubs are already setting their rosters up, or (c) a bullpen injury might create a need for him on the Sox.

    Nice job thinking that through.

  35. quintjs 4 years ago

    I am betting Varitek starts against more than a few LH pitchers too, since he usually still puts up decent numbers against LH pitching. Put Lowrie in the lineup for Scuturo and Cameron in for Drew or Ortiz and the Sox lineup against LH pitching still looks pretty good.

  36. RedSoxDynasty 4 years ago

    IMO, more valuable than Atchison. Repeat angry people, IMO!

  37. BoSoXaddict 4 years ago

    As well as any of our relievers not named Bard or Papelbon.

  38. BoSoXaddict 4 years ago

    60 IP, 4.50 ERA, 1.283 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 6.2 K/9. In other words, not bad for someone making 420K.

  39. RedSoxDynasty 4 years ago

    So as well as Delcarmen, Ramirez, and Okajima who were all dumped by the Sox in 2010! Good job arguing your point!

  40. BoSoXaddict 4 years ago

    No, he pitched better than those 3 guys. Bottom line, he has a legit chance of making the pen this year while MaxRam had pretty much no chance of making the team barring injury.

  41. MaineSox 4 years ago

    I don’t know if that part was directed at me or not but I’m not angry at all. I actually thought it would be Atchison who was DFA’d too, and I was kind of surprised that it was Ramirez instead. I just don’t think that Ramirez was all that valuable either so in my opinion he wasn’t much of a loss, he’s basically a project at this point and wouldn’t have had much of a place on the big league club so they probably thought it was worth the risk because if he went unclaimed they could put him in the minors.

  42. Guest 4 years ago

    Huh? I’m amazed by your vague comments. What do mean Soto sucks? Back it up with proof.

  43. bdcape 4 years ago

    Atchison had a 46% ground ball rate on balls in play. Unfortunately the Sox were missing Youkilis and Pedroia, both plus defenders, for much of the year. Meanwhile their 3B-SS defense also took a step back with Scutaro and Beltre (who, despite his incredible athleticism, is one of the worst-disciplined third basemen in the game with crappy footwork and decision making). What this means for Atchison is that had he had a better defense behind him, that GB rate would have resulted in a far lower ERA than the 4.50 he was assessed.

    How far? Well, in his final 5 games he was charged with 8 ER that scored on 9 singles and 3 walks, and 8 of those hits were dribblers through the infield gaps. Prior to that, Atchison had put up a 2.91 ERA, a .229/.283/.353/.636 batting line, and a 2.58 K/BB in his previous 31 games. Yup, that screams “replacement level for slightly more than replacement cost”.

    But please, continue to refer to stats on the back of your bubble gum cards when you assess ballplayers.

  44. bdcape 4 years ago

    It’s always cute when children get defiant and dig in their heels.

    FIP doesn’t “measure” anything. It’s a calculation, and it’s based primarily on BABIP. It predicts what a pitcher’s ERA might have been had he pitched to a league-average BABIP, in this case the .295 for 2010 AL and not the .277 on Atchison’s ledger.

    The point you’re missing is that Atchison’s GB rate would have gotten him an even LOWER BABIP had it not been for the routine grounders that eluded his defenders. But that means his FIP would have been even HIGHER. Yup, the FIP stat, as cool and awesome as it seems, is inherently flawed. It penalizes pitchers whose tendencies can actually create poor quality of contact on batted balls. It’s nice for helping to see where fly-ball pitchers might have been hurt by slow outfielders unable to track down balls that too often fell for hits, but it’s worthless for evaluating guys who generate more grounders.

    FIP adds a full run to Mariano Rivera’s 1.81 ERA last year. His GB/FB rate was 1.07 while the AL average was 0.79. Do you really believe that with the two-toed sloth playing shortstop for the Yankees, Rivera was helped by his defense to the tune of a run per 9 innings? Do you honestly think it was that rather than his cutter flummoxing batters and inducing weakly-hit balls? Seriously??

    Nice to see you’ve moved on from trading cards to regurgitating numbers from Fangraphs that you don’t even understand. Please continue. I’m greatly enjoying this.

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