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Report: White Sox turn down Cardinals’ proposal for Alexei Ramirez

Jul 24, 2013, 2:11 AM EDT

Alexei Ramirez, Joey Terdoslavich AP

A “scouting source” told the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales that the White Sox rejected a proposal from the Cardinals that would have netted them top pitching prospect Carlos Martinez in return for shortstop Alexei Ramirez.

The report doesn’t seem all that far-fetched, given that the Cardinals would surely like to improve over Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso at shortstop. Still, it is surprising that they’d part with Martinez, a big-time talent who has posted a 2.05 ERA in 11 minor league starts this year. The 21-year-old right-hander hasn’t quite put it all together yet and he is an injury risk going forward, but there are only a handful of pitching prospects with greater upside. Martinez throws in the mid-90s, and both his curve and his changeups show plenty of promise.

Ramirez, on the other hand, doesn’t qualify as anything special at this point. He’s turning 32 in September. His lifetime OBP is .315. He’s never been an All-Star or won a Gold Glove. Here are his home run totals and OPS+s by year:

2008: 21 HR, 104 OPS+
2009: 15 HR, 86 OPS+
2010: 18 HR, 99 OPS+
2011: 15 HR, 94 OPS+
2012: 9 HR, 74 OPS+
2013: 1 HR, 79 OPS+

Not only is Ramirez arguably overpaid now, but he’s guaranteed $19.5 million for 2014-15, with a $10 million option or a $1 million buyout in 2016. Perhaps he’ll bounce back to a 90 OPS+ and be just about worth the cash, but that qualifies as the optimistic scenario. He has more downside than upside. No, the White Sox don’t really have anyone to replace him, but that isn’t reason alone to keep him. If the White Sox can really get a prospect of Martinez’s caliber for him, they shouldn’t look back.

  1. xjokerz - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    my tigers are going to need a Shortstop when Peralta gets suspended..

    • okwhitefalcon - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      A high celling, organizationally coveted pitching prospect for a lateral move veteran SS in decline.

      Ya, that makes sense….

  2. janknessgv - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:05 AM

    This story can’t be true. This makes no sense for the Cardinals

    • cohnjusack - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:42 AM

      It also makes so sense for the White Sox to turn it town.

  3. yanks33 - Jul 24, 2013 at 6:38 AM

    Why in the hell would the White Sox turn down this trade?

  4. jimmyt - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:48 AM

    “Report”, “scouting source”???? Who is making this crap up?

  5. paperlions - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    For both of those reasons, the story makes no sense. That is a very high price to pay for a guy that is barely any upgrade at all. Kozma has been horrible at the plate, whereas Ramirez has only been awful….and there is no discernible difference between them on defense…..and why the hell would the WS turn down such a proposal for a declining and not very good soon to be 32 yr old SS?

    If this report is true, then two organizations made horrible decisions.

    • mlblogsbig3bosox - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      Looking at the bright side, it seems like the White Sox made a great decision for the Cards.

  6. spudchukar - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    If this is true the Sox are nuts. Gotta believe that Peavy was involved with the Sox getting other lower level prospects.

    • paperlions - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:11 AM

      That would still be a horrible deal for the Cardinals….Peavy isn’t really an upgrade over Kelly….and he’s only started 30 games once (i.e. stayed healthy an entire year) since 2008.

      • spudchukar - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:53 AM

        I agree just more understandable.

      • paperlions - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:56 AM

        True, still a bad idea. If you are going to trade a valued prospect or prospects (if necessary), you should only do so to get and UPGRADE!….not to just add guys that may or may not be slightly better…and that are on the down side of their careers.

      • spudchukar - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:37 PM

        Hey PL, would you trade Taveras for Price?

      • paperlions - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        I think it would probably take a lot more to get price than OT. Price has had 2 great seasons, an okay season, and 2 below average seasons….plus, you can’t ignore the great defense and home park he’s pitched in. The Cardinals have a LOT of pitching coming up, what they don’t have is a lot of potential impact bats. While having Price would be great….losing a lot of games 2-1 and 3-2 would suck. A lot of their offense is old (Beltran, Holliday…..Freese and Molina are over 30).

      • paperlions - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        I know. I’m crazy.

        I said during ST that I wouldn’t trade OT for Stanton straight up…and I stand by that…Stanton’s health and swing and miss rate have always bothered me.

      • spudchukar - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:52 PM

        I couldn’t agree with you more regarding Stanton. While I believe the Cards coaching both management and player influence could drastically aid Stanton, I still wouldn’t do it.

      • spudchukar - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        I’m becoming more and more concerned about Freese and Holliday. I know you are more optimistic Holliday will approach his usual numbers, but I liked it better when they strove to be tougher outs.

      • paperlions - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:24 PM

        Me too. I read somewhere that Holliday has been bothered by a stiff neck/back this year. Not sure if that has affected him….but each guy goes through phases where they are just NOT the tough outs they can be. For Holliday, I think I might be trying to lie to myself since they have him signed for 3 more years.

        I still think a likely course of action is to trade Freese this off-season, move Carpenter back to 3B, and have Wong start at 2B next year. Wong has been doing very well in AAA this year, offensively and defensively.

      • spudchukar - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        I think the neck thing is real, but I don’t know if it has been all year. Mo’s in a tough spot. Trading local hero Freese isn’t going to be popular. Can’t honestly say it wouldn’t be painful to me.

        Boy, could Freese ever excel in New York, with that porch in RF. But who do they have that we would want? Maybe we should offer them Wong too, and try for Cano. I know we cannot afford him, and I don’t think he is worth $200 mil, but it is intriguing.

      • paperlions - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:48 PM

        Yeah, emotionally, I don’t want Freese to go….but from a baseball perspective, it is probably the best solution to maximize the benefit of the available resources.

        Cano is just going to be WAY too expensive. I wouldn’t give jack squat for just 3 months of him….Carp has been better so far this year.

        It is a deep enough team and system…that finding ways to improve is not easy.

      • spudchukar - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:10 PM

        Thanks Spock, your rationality is correct. Freese may have to go. He could do himself a favor if he would get his shit together. Kudos to him though for his defense in 2013, probably his best.

        Yeah, the Cano idea has no practicality, and I only raised it with the idea he would have to be signed first, which doesn’t look like it is going to be resolved any time soon. Since third base is arguably the weakest position in Baseball, his trade value would be immense.

        Stand pat, is probably the best scenario, but finishing first is vital in the NL Central, and the Dodgers and Rays scare me.

      • paperlions - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:07 PM

        Jake Westbrook is a force on the mound, at the plate, and on the bases…we don’t need no stinking upgrades.

  7. stlouis1baseball - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    I am not buying this. Not a chance the Cardinals would be this foolish.
    Even more foolish? The White Sox turning it down.
    There has to be more to it (assuming it has any credibility whatsoever).

  8. keliskuties - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    Gold Gloves? All Star games? Those may be the absolute worst measuring points for a player. Mike Young has a Gold Glove at shortstop. So he must be a great defensive shortstop.

    Ramirez’s value is inflated because you can’t find a better shortstop on the trading block. Not necessarily about the player as it is the market.

    • paperlions - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      That is correct….of course, just because a guy is the best available doesn’t mean he is very good or represents an appreciable upgrade. I’m no fan of Kozma at the plate, but he’s one lucky/good week of hitting away from having pretty much the same line as Ramirez….and I doubt Ramirez is better in the field….and Remirez has 3 years and $33M (or so) left on his contract….during which time he may be lucky to be above replacement.

  9. missingdiz - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    I’m not buying this either–this sounds like panic on the Cardinals’ part. Why go hysterical when you’re in first place? OK, not by much and the Pirates and Reds both seem to have gas in the tank, but there’s no reason to panic. Kozma plays his position well. Lots of teams have won wth weak-hitting shortstops. It used to be the norm. This team has the bats, enough even to do fine with Holliday out (although I’ll be glad to see him back).

  10. uwsptke - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Are you sure this source didn’t mean that the Cardinals turned down the offer? The Sox should have put the phone on mute while they handed out high-fives.

  11. sportsfanjay - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    This has turned out not to be a true story.

  12. westcoastredbird - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Not gonna happen. still remember trading Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields. We all know how that worked out. Mo is no dummy.

  13. stevequinn - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    John Mozeliak has denied this rumor. No way the Cardinals are going to trade Martinez.

    • paperlions - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:26 PM

      I really really really really really really hope that is true.

      While he hasn’t been great out of the pen, that may just be a personal short-coming, as he has been fantastic in the minors as a starter.

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