Ramon Ramirez Rumors

Giants Release Wilson Valdez, Ramon Ramirez

The Giants have released Wilson Valdez and Ramon Ramirez, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). Both players are now free agents.

Valdez and Ramirez had opt outs in their contracts with the team, Andrew Baggarly ‏of CSNBayArea reports (Twitter links). The Giants would like to re-sign Ramirez to a minor league deal if he doesn't find a better opportunity elsewhere.

Valdez, a client of Wasserman Media Group, appeared in 77 games for the Reds in 2012, playing shortstop, second base, third base and even center field. The 34-year-old posted a .206/.236/.227 batting line in 208 plate appearances with Cincinnati.

The Giants signed Ramirez to a minor league deal last month. He appeared in 58 games for the Mets in 2012, posting a 4.24 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 in 63 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. The 31-year-old had a 46.7% ground ball rate and his fastball averaged 91.1 mph, according to FanGraphs.


Giants To Sign Ramon Ramirez

2:06pm: It's a minor league deal, Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports (on Twitter).

12:43pm: One year after trading him, the Giants are bringing Ramon Ramirez back. The Giants agreed to sign Ramirez, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).

The right-hander pitched for San Francisco from 2010-11, but was traded to the Mets with Andres Torres in the trade that brought Angel Pagan to San Francisco last offseason. One winter later, all three players signed with the Giants as free agents.

Ramirez appeared in 58 games for the Mets in 2012, posting a 4.24 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 in 63 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. The 31-year-old had a 46.7% ground ball rate and his fastball averaged 91.1 mph, according to FanGraphs.


Quick Hits: Hamilton, Ramirez, Kuroda, Bourn, Mets

Reds top prospect Billy Hamilton left today's Arizona Fall League Championship Game with lower back spasms after crashing into the wall on an Anthony Rendon triple. Hamilton, who stole 155 bases in the minor leagues this year, is in the process of transitioning from shortstop to center field. Here's the game's box score and here's the latest from around the league…

  • Free agent right-hander Ramon Ramirez did not leave the ACES agency due to the Melky Cabrera suspension fallout, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The two sides split mutually after Ramirez asked the agency to do something it had never done regarding fees.
  • Joel Sherman of The New York Post wonders if Hiroki Kuroda's desire to finish in his career in Japan will help the Yankees re-sign him. New York is willing to offer a one-year contract right now, and Sherman thinks they may be willing to approach $16MM.
  • Unsurprisingly, the Mets won't jump into the fray to sign Michael Bourn late, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Earlier today, MLBTR readers voted 55-45 in favor of Bourn over fellow free agent center fielder B.J. Upton.
  • The Marlins have hired Indians field coordinator Rob Leary as their new bench coach, the Indians announced (on Twitter). Leary spent almost a decade as an instructor in the Red Sox's farm system.


Quick Hits: Kuroda, Pagan, Reyes, Buehrle

Here's the latest from around baseball as we head into the weekend…

  • Hiroki Kuroda has told friends that his preference is to pitch in southern California to be near his daughters' grade school, reports Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles.  Saxon speculates this could make the Dodgers and Angels the favorites for Kuroda's services, with the Dodgers having the "presumptive edge" with Kuroda due to their past history.
  • Angel Pagan could sign before the start of the Winter Meetings on December 3, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.  Pagan's suitors include "many of the same clubs" who are interested in fellow free agent B.J. Upton, a market that includes the Phillies, Braves and Nationals.  The Giants are also in the mix to bring Pagan back to San Francisco.
  • Also from Rosenthal, the Marlins made verbal promises to Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle that neither would be traded when Miami was courting the two as free agents last winter.  The promises were made in place of formal no-trade clauses, which the Marlins don't hand out as a matter of club policy.  Reyes and Buehrle, of course, were traded to the Blue Jays on Tuesday as part of the big 12-player deal that has yet to be officially confirmed by the league.
  • Right-hander Ramon Ramirez will no longer be represented by the ACES agency, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  Ramirez is the latest of several players to recently switch from ACES, which may be due to MLB's ongoing investigation of the agency for its alleged role in the Melky Cabrera fake website scandal, though the players' union cleared ACES earlier this month.
  • Dodgers president Stan Kasten discussed such topics as his plans for the club's minor league system, his career history and MLB labor issues with Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.
  • Rangers GM Jon Daniels talked with Michael Moye (Josh Hamilton's agent) earlier this week, reports Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, though it seems as if both sides were just checking in on the other.
  • The Blue Jays have generated the most headlines of any team this offseason, but FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi notes some of the holes the Jays still have to fill.

Mets Notes: Wright, Dickey, Pelfrey, Davis

The Mets will “turn over” the roster this coming offseason, team sources tell Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Here are the details, starting with the team’s franchise player…

  • Team officials remain optimistic that they’ll be able to retain David Wright long-term, Rubin reports. Mets executives hope the third baseman will succeed Tom Seaver as the unofficial ambassador for the organization once he retires as a player, according to Rubin. Wright told Rubin over the weekend that he hopes his next contract will cover the remainder of his playing career.
  • Relievers Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez are expected to leave as free agents after the season, Rubin reports.
  • Rubin hears from Mets sources that Andres Torres and Mike Pelfrey will likely be non-tendered this winter.
  • R.A. Dickey’s contract includes a club option for 2013 that will surely be exercised, but his long-term future with the organization is not entirely secure, according to Rubin. Mets executives seem wary of making a “sizable commitment” to the Cy Young candidate.
  • One Mets person said the team would require “a boatload” to part with Ike Davis, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The Red Sox had two scouts in attendance at last night’s Mets-Marlins game and could have interest in trading for the first time arbitration eligible first baseman, Heyman reports.

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:

(more…)


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.