TODAY: The deal is done, per Scott Mitchell of TSN (via Twitter). It’s a minors pact.
YESTERDAY: The Blue Jays are closing in on a contract with free-agent reliever Neil Ramirez, according to Roster Roundup. It’s unclear whether it’ll be a major league pact for Ramirez, whom the Indians released Aug. 2.
A veteran of several organizations, the 30-year-old Ramirez cracked Cleveland’s bullpen earlier this season and struggled to a 5.40 ERA/6.57 FIP in 16 2/3 innings. Ramirez logged a solid number of strikeouts (9.72 K/9), which he has done throughout his career, though he also issued 4.86 walks per nine and posted a paltry 25.0 percent groundball rate. The right-hander wasn’t that much more successful this season as a member of the Tribe’s Triple-A team, with which he recorded a 4.91 ERA/5.11 FIP. Ramirez did, however, manage 13.81 K/9 against 3.38 BB/9 during that 29 1/3-inning span.
A deal with the Blue Jays could present a quick path back to the majors for Ramirez, as the team dealt relievers Daniel Hudson, Joe Biagini and David Phelps prior to last week’s trade deadline. Out-of-contention Toronto’s now stuck with a fairly uninspiring group of options in front of closer Ken Giles.