Ramon Ramirez Rumors

Giants Notes: Cespedes, Ramirez, Torres

Yesterday, Giants GM Brian Sabean talked to the press about the possibility of signing Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum to contract extensions.  Here's more on San Fran..

  • Not a huge surprise here, but Sabean said that the Giants won't go after Yoenis Cespedes, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.  "The price tag is probably beyond what his talent is," the GM said.  The outfielder still has a number of suitors including the Marlins, Cubs, White Sox, Orioles, and Tigers.
  • Sabean said that Ramon Ramirez was included in the Andres Torres-Angel Pagan trade in December to even out the money, Schulman tweets.  Back in December, the GM admitted that if the Giants hadn't traded Ramirez, they would have tendered the right-hander a contract.
  • Speaking of Torres, a competing baseball exec told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter) that he sees the former Giant as a fifth outfielder, even though he is slated to start in center field for the Mets.  Heyman agrees with that assertion.

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Tuesday

Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here.  Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing.  Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints.  Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:

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Giants Won’t Re-Sign Beltran Or Ross

The Giants won't re-sign Carlos Beltran or Cody Ross this winter, GM Brian Sabean told reporters, including John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). Manager Bruce Bochy hinted as much, after yesterday's Angel Pagan acquisition, saying the Giants seemed "pretty set" in the outfield, writes Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.

"Simply put," Sabean said. "With Ross, we could never get on the same page. And Beltran, we knew it was going to be a stretch."

Here are some other Sabean highlights from Shea and Baggarly:

  • The Giants' payroll is maxed out. They'll have to decide whether to tender a contract to Jeff Keppinger or Mike Fontenot, since they can only afford to retain one. With the help of Matt Swartz, MLBTR projected Fontenot to earn about half as much as Keppinger, so Fontenot may have the edge.
  • Guillermo Mota is choosing between two different payout structures, but both Giants offers are for one year with a big league guarantee.
  • No other roster moves are expected besides non-tenders and minor league signings.
  • If the Giants hadn't traded Ramon Ramirez, they would have tendered him a contract.


Giants Acquire Pagan From Mets For Torres, Ramirez

The Giants and Mets have agreed on a deal that will send Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez to New York and Angel Pagan to San Francisco, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The Giants will also receive a player to be named later or cash, according to a team release. The deal was announced by both clubs today.

All three players are arbitration eligible, and Torres in particular was a candidate to be non-tendered next week.  Both Torres and Pagan were valuable as regulars in 2010 but struggled in 2011, though the Mets were expected to tender Pagan a contract.  

Prior to the Giants' acquisition of Pagan, their outfield was expected to feature Aubrey Huff in left, Melky Cabrera in center, and Nate Schierholtz in right field.  Given the defensive inadequacies of Huff and Cabrera, Pagan might be a well-used fourth outfielder in San Francisco.  Pagan will be surely be motivated to earn regular playing time, as he's entering his contract year.  He projects to earn $4.7MM through arbitration for 2012.

The Mets can potentially control Torres for two years, and MLBTR estimates a salary of around $2.5MM in 2012.  He makes for a nice upside play for GM Sandy Alderson.  Alderson has also revamped his 2012 bullpen in the course of about an hour.  Ramirez is a useful, affordable addition, and the Mets also signed veteran relievers Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco (together again!)

GMs Alderson and Brian Sabean last matched up in late July, when the Mets traded Carlos Beltran and cash to the Giants for pitching prospect Zack Wheeler.

Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.


Mets Close To Making Trade

8:46pm: The Giants and Mets are believed to be discussing a deal that would send Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez to New York for Angel Pagan, tweets Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. That would match up with the two-for-one rumors, and Torres and Pagan qualify as "change of scenery" players as well.

8:33pm: Hot on the heels of their agreement with Jon Rauch, the Mets have a multi-player trade in the works, tweets MLB Network's Jon Heyman. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter) describes the deal as a "change of scenery" trade both ways, and says the Mets are going to receive two players in exchange for one. Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link) hears that the move will net the Mets another reliever.


Giants “Far Down The Road” On Two Trades

8:45pm: One of the proposals is believed to be Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez for Angel Pagan, tweets Baggarly. That would match up with the two-for-one rumors we heard earlier about the Mets.

8:42pm: The Giants are "far down the road" on two trade proposals and GM Brian Sabean thinks the team may make a move tonight, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News (on Twitter). The proposed moves don't involve Jed Lowrie, Carlos Quentin, or Martin Prado, three names that have surfaced in recent trade rumors, adds Baggarly.

With rumors swirling that the Mets are also close to making a deal for a reliever, and the Giants said to be entertaining offers for Ramon Ramirez, it's possible the Mets could be on the other end of one of San Francisco's two proposals. That's my own speculation, however.


Giants Trying To Trade Keppinger, Torres, Ramirez

12:37pm: It'd be a fairly easy call for the Giants to non-tender Keppinger, reports Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.  Baggarly also notes that the Giants intend to work out a multiyear deal with starter Ryan Vogelsong, who would be eligible for free agency after 2012.  For more on the Giants' huge arbitration class, read up here.

11:34am: The Giants are trying to trade infielder Jeff Keppinger, outfielder Andres Torres, and reliever Ramon Ramirez, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.  They're planning to keep lefty Jeremy Affeldt.  ESPN's Buster Olney says there's a strong feeling by other teams Torres will be non-tendered.  If so, the Giants may not be able to get much for him.  Torres was the second-most valuable center fielder in baseball in 2010, based on FanGraphs' wins above replacement.

Keppinger, Torres, and Ramirez are all arbitration eligible, and MLBTR projects salaries in the $2.3-2.7MM range for each.


Giants Trying To Trade Affeldt Or Ramon Ramirez

The Giants have a ton of money tied up in the bullpen right now, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, so they're trying to move Jeremy Affeldt or Ramon Ramirez.  Many teams seek bullpen help, including the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Tigers, Twins, Angels, Mariners, Mets, Brewers, Cardinals, and Reds. 

Affeldt, a 32-year-old lefty, had his $5MM club option exercised by the Giants in October.  Ramirez, a 30-year-old righty, projects to earn $2.3MM in his last year before free agency.

Including Affeldt, Ramirez,  Brian Wilson ($8.5MM), Javier Lopez ($4.25MM), Santiago Casilla ($1.9MM estimated), and Sergio Romo ($1.3MM estimated), the Giants project to have a $23.25MM bullpen in 2012.  That doesn't seem too bad against a $130MM payroll, though it increases to over 23% of the team's spending once you remove the dead weight of Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand.


Players To Avoid Arbitration: Tuesday

Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them – it's a question of how much the players will earn.

Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:

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Rosenthal’s Full Count Video: Salty, Braves, Cards

Ken Rosenthal has a new Full Count video up, so let's dive in…

  • The Red Sox scouted Jarrod Saltalamacchia hard before acquiring him this afternoon, and they feel that he is throwing better and will benefit from a change of scenery.  18 months ago the cost for Salty was Clay Buchholz, so they feel he's worth the gamble considering the uncertain futures of Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek.
  • The Braves didn't need either Kyle Farnsworth or Rick Ankiel, but picking up both improves their depth considerably. Ankiel will be the regular center fielder against righties, platooning with Melky Cabrera, while Farnsworth will help lessen the burden on Takashi Saito and Jonny Venters. The Braves are clearly going for it in Bobby Cox's final season.
  • It seems odd that the Cardinals would trade Ryan Ludwick given their offensive inconsistency this year, but the team likes what Jon Jay has done and they'll save big when Ludwick goes to arbitration for the final time next season.
  • Relative to its competition, no team did as poorly as the Mets at the deadline. They were outbid for Ramon Ramirez, and the Cubs wanted no part of a Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez for Carlos Zambrano swap. The Cubbies are hopeful that Big Z will come back and rebuild his value down the stretch.