We’ve heard the Pittsburgh Pirates loosely linked to Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez this year. Today, Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune (via MLBTR) said that the White Sox turned down a trade offer from the Cardinals which would have sent right-hander Carlos Martinez to the White Sox for Ramirez.
Baseball America had Martinez as the 24th best prospect in the game in their mid-season rankings. They had Jameson Taillon ranked 11th. Taillon is the better prospect, but if the White Sox turned down Martinez, it means they’d probably want Taillon in exchange for Ramirez.
I broke down the value of Ramirez last week. He is owed about $23 M through the 2015 season, which includes his $1 M buyout for 2016. He will be 32 years old by the end of the year, and has a declining bat. All of that amounts to a $1.8 M value with no salary relief. It’s possible that the Cardinals were asking for salary relief. Ramirez would be worth Martinez if the White Sox picked up the majority of his salary. We don’t know if that was what the Cardinals were going for in this case.
It could be possible that the Cardinals made a ridiculous offer, and the White Sox turned it down looking for a much more ridiculous offer. After the Cubs landed four solid prospects for two months of Matt Garza, I’d imagine we’re going to see every team looking for massive value leading up to the deadline.
I wasn’t a fan of adding Alexei Ramirez prior to this. Jordy Mercer could be just as good in the short-term, and doesn’t require the loss of any prospects or taking on tons of salary over the next two years on an aging player. Now that it looks like Ramirez will cost a ton, I’m definitely not a fan of the idea of adding him.
UPDATE 1:02 PM: Jon Heyman debunks the rumor.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 24, 2013