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.