The Padres have officially added veteran infielder Alexei Ramirez, who’ll presumably slot in as the team’s regular shortstop. He reportedly receives a $4MM guarantee, with a $3MM salary for 2016 and a $4MM mutual option that comes with a $1MM buyout.
Ramirez, 34, had spent his entire career with the White Sox after coming over from Cuba before the 2008 season. He’s been a reliable, albeit rarely spectacular, performer ever since.
The first plate appearance that Ramirez takes in San Diego will be the 5,000th of his career. In the ones that precede it, he’s hit a cumulative .273/.310/.399 while adding about 14 home runs and 17 stolen bases annually.
Ramirez’s work at the plate has fluctuated somewhat year to year, of course, but he generally featured as a 3-or-more-win player for most of his tenure in Chicago. That’s because he also generated consistently strong overall baserunning ratings and above-average defensive metrics.
It all adds up to a nice, veteran package — except for the fact that Ramirez seemed to hit a wall in 2015. He posted a .249/.285/.357 batting line that set personal lows in all three triple-slash categories. And his work on the basepaths and with the glove drew negative overall ratings for the first time since his debut season.
San Diego will be banking on a turnaround, or at least a bounce back toward his career numbers. After all, he did suffer from an uncharacteristically low .264 BABIP while otherwise maintaining a K:BB ratio at his career norms and putting up more-or-less typical batted ball numbers. And things turned up markedly in the second half at the plate.
It’s certainly an understandable move for an organization that received dismal production at the shortstop position last year. While Ian Desmond would have been a bigger upgrade, he comes with plenty of risk and still seems likely to command a much larger contract. And it’s eminently arguable that Ramirez makes for a better fit, as San Diego has some younger players moving through the minor league ranks, led by Javier Guerra but also including names like Jose Rondon and Ruddy Giron. It’s not clear that any will be prepared by the time Ramirez’s deal is up, but at least there’s little chance that the organization will be paying big money to a player who is clogging the depth chart and reducing flexibility at a key position.
Jon Heyman reported the signing and financial details (Twitter links). Eno Sarris of Fangraphs first reported the guarantee and deal structure.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Gotta think this is a much wiser signing than Desmond would have been.
Agreed but if Preller’s plan is to go cheap (by dumping Gyorko/Kimbrel/Benoit), looks like he’s still stuck with Shields, Kemp and Upton’s bad contracts. While the other NL West teams generally got better. This is where I’d reboot my game in MLB 15 The Show.
Is ur name joey pankake bcuz u like him or u r joey pankake
Just thought it was a good internet name.
I like it.. I already know the Padres probably won’t be competing this year, but he’s the better Alexei over Amarista. I was nervous they might try and get Desmond since he’d cost a draft pick and is almost the same player as Gyorko except costs more.
Desmond should of taken the offer the nationals gave him in 2014, no way he gets over 100 mill, maybe between 65-80.
There is virtually no way he gets $65m this year. More like $25-40m I should think.
Wonder who would offer it to him
Desmond should have been flexible and taken the Padres best offer. What other team was in need of a SS? The music stopped and he has found himself without a chair (or a job).
Desmond’s decision to turn down the extension WAS offered, and end up entering a market off the back of an awful season – offensively and defensively – is looking like one of the more boneheaded decisions in recent history.
Unless playing somewhere other than WAS is really worth approximately $60-70mil (how much less he’s going to get).. Because he’s going to be lucky to get anything more than 3/$33 now.
It doesn’t matter that White Sox are seemingly the only real fit, he’s still valuable if the price/years come down to the right point. A lot of teams can play him and move guys around. There really aren’t a lot of middle infielders with 25-HR seasons around. For instance, I could see the D-Backs swooping in because of the money they’ve already put into the next few years, and the banjo-hitters they have in the infield depth chart besides Goldschmidt.
You are right. There is still the White Sox. He would be a good fit there.
There are a lot of fits for Desmond. 16 teams were worse than the Nationals at shortstop last year. Since the Padres have filled their need, that still leaves 15 teams including the White Sox.
D-backs would be a great fit especially since they just traded Dansby Swanson. Still don’t get that one.
At this point it’s pretty obvious he should have taken that offer.
Wow, either you’re really high on Gyorko, or you’re really positive that Desmond’s lousy 2015 wasn’t just an off year.
There has to be an option for 2nd year
He turned down 1 year at 10 mil. Doubt he took less than 10 mil with out an option. Plus Guerra is still 2 years away
When did he do that? The White Sox declined their option at that price…
Yes, the White Sox held the option of $10M and elected his $1M buyout instead. They were still considering re-signing Alexei Ramirez this offseason, but only at a cost south of $9M, the difference between the declined option and his buyout.
It will be interesting to see what the final terms of Ramirez’ contract is with the Padres, including dollars, years and any options that might have been added. As for the White Sox, it’s down to FA’s Ian Desmond or perhaps even Jimmy Rollins as a bridge to their anticipated future SS in Tim Anderson, or maybe a trade for someone like Javier Baez of the Cubs. Otherwise it’s Tyler Saladino or Carlos Sanches manning the position on opening day until Anderson is deemed ready.
Since this is a 4th place team likely, this was a better fit than Desmond. Desmond wouldn’t have made them a contender, instead Ramirez gives them a stopgap until they have a better roster/ one of their prospects is ready.
Thank god the Desmond to SD is over. Ramirez cant be any worse than last year.s platoon of mediocrity.
You are correct about that. Don’t expect him to be much better though. He was the worst FT shortstop in baseball last year and had a WAR below replacement level. Glad its just a one year deal. He is a stopgap because Preller couldn’t get a trade done for a good one because he traded them all away last year.
Assume “them” is trade chips? Because he traded away exactly one SS – who might very well play 2B.
Them is prospects.
This was the better deal over Desmond for sure. The Padres don’t lost a draft pick and they now have a stopgap until guys like Guerra are ready.
Good signing For SD ….. Alexi would always seem to be batting 210 in the start of June and then his average would go up as it got Warmer . Playing in SD a full year i could see him hitting 280
Who makes sense for Desmond now? I can see White Sox if they don’t sign a big OFer
The White Sox could conceivably do both, pending on how much the market price drops on all these free agents. They also have the option of trading for upgrades at SS and in the outfield as well as trying to gain some salary relief by shopping players such as Melky Cabrera, John Danks and Adam LaRoche, among others. It should be a fascinating 4 weeks between now and the opening of spring training, perhaps even beyond with so many FA’s still on the board and trade options that might be available.
Solid signing for the Pads.
Happy to hear you like this one beyou. Solid singing and on a 1 year deal makes it sweeter. I could see Alexi hitting .260-.270 and playing league average defense. Nice pickup! I’ve seen Freese as a possibly fit too. I think the Pads would like to use Solarte in a super utility role. Freese could be had at a one or two year deal and give us a pair of solid vets at SS and 3rd. Then just spend the rest on Upton, Davis or Cespedes. Haha
Hahaha that would be a dream come true if our organization had the coin to land one of those last standing big 3 domino’s. I agree that Solarte would be a stud in that role, mainly because he defense is super sketchy but his bat has to find its way in the lineup somehow. Freese would be a nice 6 hole hitter, he would give you .265 with 15 and 60, it won’t blow the stat sheet up but he would be solid and would play a good 3rd base. We should have never traded him back in the day for a crappy 1 year rental of Jim Edmonds lol. Oh lord
Solarte would give us .270 14 60 and he has a good chance to improve while the 33-year-old Freese doesn’t.
You said Solarte isn’t good enough to start on some thread a while back
I was hoping they’d land Ramirez on a 1 or 2 year deal. Seems like a really solid fit for this club. I was also hoping the Pads would have signed C. Carter to play 1B, and then move Myers to LF but, of course, that ship has sailed. Freese would be nice at 3rd, and Solarte could be a very good regular 2B. Now, if Renfroe can get ready and man LF, that could be a decent lineup. I also wish they’d give Liriano a real chance. Can he play CF?
Preller said when they traded for him, that Rule V pick Jabari Blash was going to be looked in spring training with the hope that he could be the opening day starting LF.
Ramirez was the worst full-time shortstop in baseball last season. Perfect fit for Padres,
If you look at fWAR, Amarista alone was worse than Ramirez (-0.8 vs -0.5), Furthermore, Ramirez is a good bet to perform better than last year, while the current combination is not.
Lastly, if it does not work out, it is only a one year deal, and a quite cheap one as well. So indeed, perfect fit.
What part of full-time did you not understand? At 34, Ramirez is a good bet to perform better than last year? In what universe? Certainly not this one. 34-year-old players decline just as he has done for 3 seasons.
Mostly, it’s a good fit because the Padres will not compete before 2019 or 2020, so why spend big money on someone like Desmond? Ramirez, Shields, Upton and Kemp will all be gone and hopefully, Preller has been smart enough to start the rebuild or the ownership has been smart enough to fire Preller and the new GM has started the rebuild before then.
Alexei struggled last year but still makes solid contact, has good gap power even playing in a small park like comerica, and is fundamentally sound. He’s just the kind of player that could excel in San Diego.
Good move by the Padres, veteran guy to plug the hole until one of the kids are ready. Can’t bash this trade at all, agree 100 percent with the consensus about Ramirez over Desmond because of all the red flags with more money, years and the draft pick compensation that was attached to him.
I’d like us to do one more move to solidify the infield. I think they should sign David Freese to a 1 year deal as well and move Solarte over to second base. It just scares me giving the second base job to Spangenberg when he has yet to show much consistency at the plate so far, very streaky hitter. Freese would extend the lineup a little bit and give us a little more power than we have now and he wouldn’t be too expensive. I could see 1 year 5.5 million for him.
I like that move bleacherbum. I’m not sold on either Spang or Janikowski.
I have hope for Spangey. I would like to see Jankowski moved for a BP arm, not sold on him either.
Jankowski has only had a cup of coffee with us. Were you one of the people saying the same thing about Rizzo after his first try at the majors in SD? Jankowski had better stats than Jon Jay last year and his scouting reports and minor league results say this guy is going to be a CF that hits for average, steals bases and plays plus defense. To me, that means he is Jon Jay without the $7 million contract.
No, I actually hated the Rizzo for Cashner trade the day it happened and still do to this day because I think Cashner is poorly miss-used. Rizzo was the centerpiece of the Adrian Gonzalez trade everyone knew that he would turn out to be a solid player, I think only a few thought he would be what he is now.. And you think our lame duck hitting coaches over the year and staff would have turned Rizzo into what he is now? You’re dreaming if you think so, if you aren’t aware he got to Cubs and they changed his stance opening him up and lowering his hands and things started to click for him. So knock it off with the notion that you saw this coming. In regards to Jankowski, his game fits petco perfectly but we are on the hook for Melvin Upton for 2 more years and the chances we find someone to take his contract aren’t good, so what do you do with Jankowski if he is indeed big league ready right now? Make him suffer in AAA? Or let him go somewhere where he can play and we can get a piece that will help us for the next 2 years.
We found another to agree on. Jankowski’s defense is comparable to Lagares and his bat will be playable enough. Especially as long as they have a statue in RF, he should be, at worst, the LHH platoon partner in CF.
Exactly, both those guys are young and trying to find themselves at the big league level, just trying to learn on the fly. They both have a ton of speed but everything else needs a little more seasoning in AAA before we can count on them producing consistently with the Pads.
We have 4 outfielders that I currently are getting more playing time than Jankowski..
Blash (Rule 5, can’t be optioned to AAA or he goes back to original club. Can’t see us atleast not giving him a shot)
Upton jr. Owed too much money to release, nobody wants to trade for that contract either.
So I don’t see where having jankowski as a 5th outfielder helps, it was like Hedges last year.. Why stunt his growth by having him at the bigs if he is only going to play every 1 out of 5-6 games. Makes no sense. Same with Spangey, let them start and get consistent at bats in El Paso.
I agree, it’s probably best if they start at the AAA level and then move up so that they’re aren’t having to basically learn as they go. Especially in the Outfield. There are already enough outfielders on the roster, barring an injury.
It always is a stabilizing thing to bring in the worst full-time player at a position, any position. I guess this move stabilizes our firm hold on 4th place in the NL West and a top 5 draft pick in 2016. Go Padres.
Re Spangenberg, it was said the same about Forsythe and look how that turned out.. Got to think he gets at least another season and the lefty bat is needed..
Potential opening day lineup?
C’mon A.J. Go get Freese!
1. Jay -LF
2. Solarte -2B
3. Myers -1B
4. Kemp -RF
5. Norris -C
6. Freese -3B
7. Ramirez -SS
8. Blash -LF
9. Shields -P
Jay -CF **
Preller is switching out Alexi’s. This one is the evolved form of the one from last year.
One has to believe that if free agent Ian Desmond wants to remain at shortstop at this point of his MLB career his best bet would be signing with the White Sox…and Chicago now ought to be able to get him on their terms, not his. Like Chris Davis in Baltimore, another player who should have taken his former teams last offer and just ran with it to the bank!
Desmond may have to wait until the deadline passes for giving up the draft pick….ala Stephen Drew.
Unless the WS want him badly(which appears not to be the case).
The Padres didn’t want him at the cost mainly due to the loss of a pick.
They could still sign him once the deadline passes TBH.
Alexei Ramirez’ one year contract with $4M guaranteed, along with a mutual option seems super cheap. Hard to believe that his only previous MLB team, the White Sox, wouldn’t have at least matched such an offer unless they have some better options in the works, either with top free agent shortstop Ian Desmond or some trade scenario.
Opening the season with a pre-arb eligible Tyler Saladino at SS would only save the White Sox about $3.5M in 2016, hardly a significant amount and not much to be redirected toward a significant corner outfield upgrade like Yoenis Cespedes or Justin Upton, or even a less costly one like Dexter Fowler, to say nothing of a salary that might be acquired with a potential trade.
I like this signing
It’s hard not to feel bad for the Padres. Aside from Myers every acquisition they made last year backfired.
Not only that but now they have to watch a team in their own division take their blueprints and put it into action more effectively while still holding a better farm system.
Josh Byrnes can have his blueprint.
How was Myers not a bad signing? He hasn’t played 1/2 a season yet. You can’t always hang on to potential. Especially for what was given up for him. You’re wrong, the Myers deal was a bad one.
Myers backfired also. He played in how many games? We gave up two guys that are already playing in the majors with one of those two being a top ten overall prospect at the Padres biggest position of need.
Good luck SD fans. You’re going to need it.
I’m so happy Rick didn’t resign him.
Yeah I’m right there with you, I don’t understand some of the angst that he didn’t come back, but the guy was just too inconsistent and would only come through when it didn’t matter/the team was out of contention. Another guy that definitely came through in the clutch for 8 years, but wasn’t enough to be a difference maker. I look forward to hitting the reset at that position. I’m just worried that we’ll have a 2B/3B situation again where we try to plug some young guys but they are below replacement level.
yeah, none of those deals will happen. You’re a creative guy though.
Austin Jackson must be one hell of a talent – since your trade has him on two different teams.
I could see the Padres trading for zach cozart once he shows his knee is healthy (although not entirely sure how close the Pads SS prospects are to ready). Maybe giving up someone like janikowski- he seems to fit the Reds no power, big- time speed formula that they are going for
Before they signed Ramirez Cozart would have made sense but not now.