Reliever Neil Ramirez will remain in the Indians organization after he cleared outright waivers but accepted an assignment to Triple-A. The club announced the move.
Ramirez avoided arbitration with the Indians over the offseason, striking a $1MM deal. That contract helps explain why he would agree to stick around rather than heading out in search of a better opportunity. With more than three but less than five years of service, he can choose free agency but would have to give up the remaining guarantee to do so.
Of course, it’s also true that the Cleveland organization helped Ramirez revive what had been a moribund career. He had bounced around quite a bit before settling in with the Indians and throwing 41 2/3 innings of 4.54 ERA ball last year.
Ramirez, who turns 30 on Saturday, struggled out of the gates in 2019. His home run issues from a year ago deepened, as he allowed five in 16 2/3 innings. He’s still producing a healthy 14.3% swinging-strike rate and working in the mid-nineties with his fastball, but clearly needs to tune things up if he’s to get back to being a productive MLB reliever.