The Rays have signed 35-year old former All-Star short stop Alexei Ramirez to assist the club in finishing the year.
Recently acquired SS Matt Duffy is headed for Achilles tendon surgery this weekend, and with former first baseman Brad Miller fully transitioned to first base, the Rays were in need of reinforcements at the position.
Ramirez was released by the Padres on Monday, following their decision to cut the veteran loose after a disastrous -17 DRS at the position, and with a desire to give prospects more opportunities in September.
Similarly, the Rays have an interest in testing their own young players, but their desire is to deploy possible SS replacements like Nick Franklin in the outfield, where he is likely to be play if with the club next season.
Meanwhile, the Rays chose not to bring any of their other short stop prospects to the majors this September for disciplinary reasons. SS Tim Beckham and UTIL Taylor Motter are being kept off the major league squad due to disagreements with the team and/or coaching staff.
Further reasons for keeping the prospects at bay remain unclear. Beckham’s problems were at least somewhat related to poor baserunning and disagreements with coaching, but in both cases the attitude-related disciplinary measures were severe enough for the Rays to look for outside help instead of relying on their own players.
News of the signing was first reported by Marc Topkin.
For more on why the Rays signed Alexei Ramirez, you can read our previous reporting here.