The High Asking Price For Alexei Ramirez

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.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • http://@gwbicster gwbicster

    God no! I’d even roll with Chase D’arnard before doing this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrishale525 Chris Hale

    WOW the White Sox are not very smart are they? one of the best pitching prospects for an aging SS with no power . He has a very low OBP. He has a high average, and hit’s doubles. There’s no doubt he would be a sizable upgrade defensively and a minor one offensively. But not for the price of a top 15 prospect in baseball

  • skliesen

    Pirates will once again not be making a significant trade this year. And although I’m in the camp that says Pirates need a significant bat in the middle of the order to compete in October, I won’t blame NH for not making it happen. No way they should Polanco, or top pitching prospects, for an aging player like the ones being bandied about in the media.

  • rburgh

    Does Alexei make Jordy’s play last night? I doubt it. When you’ve got a SS making the minimum who is giving you what Jordy is, you just roll with it and try to find offense elsewhere.

    Not taking Martinez for Ramirez is freaking nutz. Admittedly, the Cardinals are using Martinez out of the pen, and he is struggling, but knocking a $9.5 million salary off the books is worth, well, $9.5 million. You might not get a comparable SS for that as a FA, but you can do something useful with it. And young pitchers with talent usually work their way out of struggles.

  • https://profiles.google.com/105668650510920614054 Brian Bernard

    Has anyone actually watched Jordy play SS? He’s clearly passed the eye test, making the routine, routine and still making the spectacular from time to time.
    Tim, how does Mercer come off sabermetrically? Is the sample size good enough to represent fairly, because so far I see a young Jay Bell in Mercer. That’s a good thing IMO>

    • https://profiles.google.com/116255365477483987850 jalcorn

      In 396 MLB innings at SS his UZR is 0.8 which translates to a UZR/150 (full season) of 3.8 above average. His error rate and double play ability score slightly below average, his range scores above average. Barmes has been scoring around 10 in UZR/150 for comparison which is near the league lead.

      That said this is still a very small sample size for UZR, you really need about 3 years of data 3-4000 innings to be accurate.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      As jalcorn posted below, his UZR is good. But UZR isn’t something that should be taken in one year sample sizes. Barmes, for example, has a great UZR, but has had that over a long period.

      UZR is like batting average. Hitting for a .300 average over a few months doesn’t make you a .300 hitter. Hitting .300 over a season doesn’t make you a .300 hitter. But if you consistently hit .300 over multiple years, you’re a .300 hitter. You could also use any stat in that example.

  • joe g.

    I’m fine with Mercer at SS. I’d like to see RF addressed if possible. As far as the white sox turning down the trade, it’s too early before the trade deadline to make that trade, especially after what the a cubs received for Garza.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 Lee Young

    I still think Jordy can become a JJ Hardy clone.

    I like JM.

    Foo

  • moose7195

    MLBTR updated this rumor, it never happened

    • jaygray007

      or at least that there was more involved. couldve been a small portion of a Peavy deal or something.

  • JimBibbySweat

    No Carlos Martinez for Alexei Ramirez? As a Carlos Martinez fantasy owner, that really deflates my perception of Martinez’s value. Very disappointing the Cards would dangle him for Alexei Ramirez.

  • smurph

    It was obviously not a straight up deal – Ramirez for Martinez. Perhaps the Cards asked the Sox to pay most of Ramirez’ salary. Kenny Williams is not the greatest GM, but he is not a fool either.

  • piratesfan5

    The cardinals front office seems too smart to give up Martinez for just Ramirez. They were probably trying to get peavy too.