Mets Trade Elvin Ramirez

Elvin has left the (re)building …

Relief pitcher Elvin Ramirez has been traded by the Mets to the California / Los Angeles / Anaheim / Disneyland / Orange County / Pacific Rim / Left Coast Angels for a player named Cash Considerations, who bats righthanded and presumably will platoon with Lucas Duda in left field.

Wait … that’s not right …

Actually, there was no “trade” — it was a “sell.” The Mets sold Ramirez to that team managed by Mike Scioscia which also boasts Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, and Mike Trout, among others, on their roster. The 25-year-old Ramirez had mixed results in an unfocused series of auditions in 2012. He struck out a batter per inning, but also walked a batter per inning, and allowed a hit per inning; that data is enough to suggest he stunk, but if you watched him with your eyes you might have come away thinking, “huh, he has some intriguing stuff, maybe he can figure it out.” Personally, I wasn’t so hot on the hard-throwing righthander; though his fastball sat in the mid-90s and he flirted with triple digits, he looked to me like a younger version of Manny Acosta or Jorge Sosa — an eternal enigma who keeps leading you on with occasional dominance and what looks to be electric stuff.

At the same time, I have to shake my head at this move. I understand the reason the move was made was to make room on the 40-man roster. But, I don’t understand a) how you get nothing but cash for a 25-year-old who throws 95+; b) how cash helps an organization supposedly focused on rebuilding with youth; and, c) why the man moved is someone who would have been likely to help eat innings for a club that will need all the help it can get eating innings?

Again, I admit I’m not overly impressed with Ramirez. But, in the right environment, with the right guidance and management, I can see him providing useful innings at the MLB level. There are maybe three or four teams a pitcher is lucky to join, and one of them is the Angels; Scioscia doesn’t get enough credit for his ability to manage a bullpen and get the most from his available arms from Game 1 through 162. Ramirez won’t suddenly become a lights-out closer but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him provide meaningful innings for a contender. Perhaps his most valuable asset is that he still has options; the Angels can shuttle him back and forth between the 25-man roster and AAA all season, limiting his exposure and maximizing his “mystery.”

Hey, losing Elvin Ramirez isn’t a game-changer by any stretch. But the sale of him makes one wonder just what is the plan? Is it really better for the long-term to sell off Ramirez, and keep Sean Green clone Greg Burke (who is 30 years old)? Is there sincere concern that another club will jump on Collin McHugh, Anthony Recker, Reese Havens, and/or Cesar Puello if they’re placed on waivers? Was there really a concern the Mets would lose Ramirez if he were exposed to waivers? And just what the heck is Hansel Robles doing on the 40-man roster? People used to crucify Omar Minaya for his roster management, and I think it’s fair to similarly question how the current front-office regime is handling protected personnel.

But, maybe I’m way off base. Let me know your thoughts, either way, in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Dan42 March 28, 2013 at 7:05 am
    Most likely creating a cash hoard so they can afford to pay Pedro when he proves he can be overused in warmer weather.
  2. Vilos March 28, 2013 at 10:45 am
    Your right on with your concerns!
    Good questions for the front office when you get the chance.
  3. DaveSchneck March 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm
    Sean Green? I agree with your point as to why they are “dumping” a live arm like that, even if he is most likely going to plateau at the Manny Acosta level. The lordship GM (just kidding) put a low A-baller on the 40 man and now has to make room for the geriatric bullpen, going for quantity over quality, instead of acquiring a true closer and bumping everyone down a notch. I know Havens has health issues that will potentially ruin his career, but I’d give him one more year. I hope our GM doesn’t sell him to the Blue Jays for a strip of World Series tix. But hey, with WS tix for the Angels and Blue Jays there is a good chance that the Met suits can see the All-star game and WS in person this year.
  4. Frank March 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm
    The Mets are broke. That’s how you trade a 25 yo for cash. They can’t wait to take off Santana’s 30 mil this yr. & don’t expect payroll to jump next yr. With Sanatna gone team payroll will be 75-80 mil tops. Wilpons wont spend til they get theyre 165 mil back from Picard which may take forever.
  5. Dan B March 28, 2013 at 2:13 pm
    Evidence #317 that proves the Mets are not really concerned about rebuilding through the farm system and really focusing on debt relief. On it’s own, it wouldn’t prove much. In the context of all the moves, it just reinforces it. By the way, the Jason Bay buyout was the smoking gun.
  6. Walnutz15 March 28, 2013 at 2:22 pm
    Every pitch of the inning and 2/3rd’s I watched of Elvin Ramirez (a high pitch-count session vs. the Nats last year, 12 inning loss) scared the ever-living crap out of me.

    Some of it had to do with Ramirez being jittery – but most of it was due to the way Thole attempted to pass himself off as a major league catcher.

    Think they wound up losing that particular night on a wild pitch, where Thole just had no shot of blocking it……due to the way he was stabbing at anything near the dirt.

    I will say, though – that if he’s able to harness any of what he’s bringing to the table……really, with a legitimate pitching coach somewhere not named Dan Warthen?

    The Angels could have something on their hands.

    ……..and in typical Met way, only for a few extra bucks that were lying around.

    Like you, Joe — not lamenting the loss of Elvin Ramirez, but just find it hard to believe that this won’t amount to something by the time the average fan realizes “hey, the Mets had this guy?”

    I’m also keeping a close eye on the roster management angle. If it shakes out to be a disgusting looking collection of crap, and “hoarding” is being done for no foreseeable reason…….then I’ll definitely speak out against it.

    That used to happen during the previous regime all the time, in addition to ridiculously embarrassing “communication” with players, which led to the misutilization [if they even at all did use it, wasting roster spots] of the D.L.

  7. Dan B March 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm
    Walnut, what it comes down to is the question I have been asking all off season. “Do you think Alderson is good enough of a GM to overcome Jeff Wilpon as team president?” .
    • Walnutz15 March 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm
      I have no idea what GM is good enough to overcome that special kind of stupid. We’ve all been following the Mets long enough to know what the true problem is, and unfortunately – that’s not changing any time soon.

      So close with Madoff, etc. – yet we seem to be back and settling into a slow, long ride to the cliff.


      Though, I’ll never waver off the belief that anyone could build an 88-97 win team, provided they had budgets up to nearly $140MM for as long as time as Omar Minaya did.

      We all more or less knew what was going on with Selig, and are now watching what the side deal with “Uncle Bud” entailed. If nothing else, this was to be expected.

      I’m just waiting to see if there’s ever a chance for Alderson to get his hands dirty with actual difference-makers in free agency. I don’t trust that he will, considering the stingy nature he’s taken on with regard to spending on guys they have to deem “worth it”.

  8. argonbunnies March 28, 2013 at 6:27 pm
    I don’t care about losing Elvin, but yeah, this smacks of poor planning. A team is supposed to know its players better than other teams. When you have a guy who you know isn’t very good, move him before everyone else knows it too. It’s been a while since Mets management did anything that seemed more informed than the average obsessed fan.