Three days ago the Padres released long time White Sox short stop Alexei Ramirez, and without him landing on a playoff roster this week, he is a likely addition for the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays suddentl find themselves in need of a short stop after the recently acquired Matt Duffy was unable to rehabilitate his achilles tendon (particularly while playing on artificial turf). Duffy will be heading for surgery over the weekend, leaving Tampa Bay without a true short stop on the 40-man roster.
Opening Day short stop Brad Miller in unlikely to man the open position, as he recently transitioned full-time to first base duty, where the Rays would like him to gain experience. Fellow former Mariners infielder Nick Franklin has been manning short while Duffy has been hurt, but the Rays likewise intend for Franklin to play elsewhere in September, as he is more suited to a utility role in his Rays future.
Meanwhile, prospects Tim Beckham and Taylor Motter have both been denied September call-ups due to team disciplinary issues (I wish I was kidding).
Therefore, to give the pitching and defense some stability as the Rays look to evaluate their personnel for next season, the Rays are considering bringing in veteran SS Alexei Ramirez on a one month deal to finish the season.
The 35-year old Ramirez had previously signed a one-year, $3 million deal with San Diego, with a $1 million buy out from a mutual option for 2017. The Padres paid that buyout in full on Monday to allow more reps to be given to Jose Rondon and Luis Sardinas, particularly as other injured players were about to be re-insterted to the line up:
"What we decided to do with Alexei was kind of liberate him to pursue other opportunities," Padres manager Andy Green said.
"With Jon coming back, with Amarista back, it was really going to be nothing more than a pinch-hit role for him the rest of the year, and we all know he's pretty dead set on wanting to be an everyday player going forward. This allows him the opportunity to go out out and see if there's anything with the other 29 teams the last month of the season and maybe parlay that into an opportunity next year."
As noted by MLBTR, Ramirez (a former All-Star) is currently ranked last among 2016 shortstops in Defensive Runs Saved (-17) and Ultimate Zone Rating (-14.4), and has been worth a league-worst minus-2.0 fWAR this year.
Luckily, the Rays don’t need wins in September, just competence.