The Padres have released shortstop Alexei Ramirez, according to AJ Cassavell of MLB.com (Twitter link). Cassavell reported Saturday that the Padres were unlikely to pick up their end of Ramirez’s $4MM mutual option for 2017 during the offseason. A day later, his time with the Padres has ended. He’ll collect what’s left of his $3MM salary for this season and a $1MM buyout for 2017.
After a subpar 2015 in his final campaign as a member of the White Sox, with whom he spent the first eight seasons of his career, the Padres bought low on Ramirez during the winter. However, he failed to live up to his modest deal. As a result of both Ramirez’s poor performance and the rebuilding Padres’ shift toward youth, the club began phasing the soon-to-be 35-year-old out at shortstop recently, instead turning to the likes of Jose Rondon and Luis Sardinas.
The right-handed Ramirez began working in right field as a way to stay in the Padres’ lineup against southpaws, but that wasn’t enough for him to remain with the team through season’s end. Ramirez batted a disappointing .240/.275/.331 in 440 plate appearances with the Padres and wasn’t any better in the field, where he’s currently last among 2016 shortstops in Defensive Runs Saved (minus-17) and Ultimate Zone Rating (minus-14.4). All told, he has been worth a league-worst minus-2.0 fWAR this year.
Before his decline began in earnest last season, Ramirez was a useful player for several years. The one-time All-Star batted a combined .275/.313/.395 with 78 home runs in 3,868 trips to the plate from 2009-14, also playing no fewer than 148 games in each season, adding 105 steals and totaling 18.5 fWAR.