Analyzing the Mets’ external options at shortstop

By Michael DeCicco
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Alexei Ramirez

Sep 26, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez hits a RBI single against the Kansas City Royals in the 8th inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Since the Michael Cuddyer signing, it has been said that the Mets and White Sox seem to match up fairly well for a potential trade. The White Sox are looking for a right-handed pitcher, which the Mets have plenty of, and the Mets, in turn, are looking for an upgrade at short.

The recently turned 33 year old Ramirez has had a very good career in Chicago, sporting a career triple slash of .277/.314/.405 in over 1,000 games. He also has been pretty stellar defensively, up until this past season. From 2010-2013, Ramirez had an average UZR/150 upwards of 8. This past season, in 158 games, his UZR/150 was -0.7. Because Ramirez is not getting any younger, it’s fair to ask whether this will become the new norm for him defensively. It’s not an answer I have for you here.

Contract wise, I think Ramirez is right in Sandy’s ballpark. He could either be a one-year signing at $10 million, or, more-realistically, Alderson would exercise Ramirez’ team option and renew him for another year at $10 million dollars in 2016. Having Ramirez for two years would allow for Sandy to not only upgrade the position for the next two years at an affordable price, but also buy himself time to either acquire a young shortstop to develop, or give players such as Matt Reynolds and Gavin Cecchini more time to develop.

As was mentioned earlier, the White Sox are looking to acquire a right-handed pitcher, which the Mets seem to be willing to part with. The problem, and the question that remains, is whether the Mets have the quality of pitching Chicago is looking for. It’s highly unlikely that Alderson would part with Jacob deGrom or Zack Wheeler for Ramirez, and certainly not Noah Syndergaard. Bartolo Colon and Dillon Gee by themselves certainly wouldn’t be enough, so where does that leave us? We’ll have to see if Sandy can pull off some magic, but, unfortunately, I think a Ramirez to Mets deal may be a tad too good to be true.