The Braves have acquired right-handed reliever Jose Ramirez from the Mariners in exchange for a player to be named later and/or cash considerations, per announcements from each club. By moving Ramirez, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has now traded both players that were acquired by his predecessor, Jack Zduriencik, in the trade that sent Dustin Ackley to the Yankees. (Outfielder Ramon Flores was sent to Milwaukee in exchange for infielder Luis Sardinas.)
Ramirez, 25, is a hard-throwing reliever that is out of minor league options and will thus need to break camp with the Braves out of Spring Training or be exposed to outright waivers. He’s averaged 95.2 mph on his heater in limited Major League experience but yielded 17 earned runs in 17 2/3 innings as a big leaguer.
Ramirez’s strikeout rate began to climb in the minors when he was shifted from a starting role to the bullpen, and he’s displayed a penchant for missing bats since the transition. However, while he’s struck out 110 batters in 106 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level (mostly out of the bullpen), he’s also issued 61 walks and hit seven batters in that time, demonstrating some troublesome control problems. Former Fangraphs scribe Kiley McDaniel ranked Ramirez 23rd among Yankees farmhands heading into the 2015 season last year, noting that he’s hit 100 mph with his fastball and has, at times, displayed a 70-grade changeup, stating that he’s shown “relief phenom-level stuff” when at his best but has struggled greatly to stay on the field (albeit not due to arm struggles).
Nonetheless, he’ll give Atlanta another intriguing arm to add to its bullpen mix in Spring Training at what appears to be a low cost of acquisition.