Mets and White Sox are still discussing Alexei Ramirez
UPDATE, November 12:
Talks between the Mets and White Sox for shortstop Alexei Ramirez are still fluid.
New York’s interest in Ramirez was first reported last week, but Marc Carig of Newsday later said that Ramirez might not be high on the Mets’ list due to a combination of age, declining defense, and money owed.
What Carig is stating above might simply be posturing from Sandy Alderson and his lieutenants.
While Ramirez had a down defensive season (by his standards) in 2014, he still rated as a well above average defender while providing above average offense relative to the position.
The Mets, along with the Yankees and Dodgers, have contacted the White Sox about the possibility of trading for shortstop Alexei Ramirez. Writes Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago:
"The Mets have been the most aggressive in their pursuit of a shortstop over the past 12 months. General manager Sandy Alderson has had his top scouts looking at shortstops such as Ramirez, the Cubs’ Starlin Castro and free agents Asdrubal Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez extensively this past season. The Mets also have exactly what the White Sox are looking for if they agree to move Ramirez.Chicago needs starting pitching — especially right-handed power pitchers. Righty Noah Syndergaard and righty Rafael Montero are at the top of that list."
Ramirez, 33, has one year and $10 million left on his contract, along with either a $1 million buyout or $10 million option for the 2016 season.
Last season for the White Sox, Ramirez hit .273/.305/.408 with 15 home runs and 74 RBI.
For his career, Ramirez is a .277/.314/.405 hitter.
The Mets can certainly do worse at shortstop than Ramirez, who combines above average overall offense for the position with a plus glove (although his 2014 season defensively wasn’t as strong as years past).
When it comes to a potential acquisition of Ramirez by the Mets, it comes down to two questions.
The first, is whether the cost to acquire Ramirez would be worth it relative to the production he would provide over Wilmer Flores. Levine mentions Noah Syndergaard as a target for the White Sox (along with Rafael Montero). Under no circumstances should the Mets consider dealing Syndergaard for a player like Ramirez. If the cost is much less, it could be a worthy move.
The second question, is whether Ramirez’ $10 million salary would preclude the Mets from adding an impact bat for the outfield. If the answer is no, trading for Ramirez could become a real possibility.