Saturday, November 14, 2015

Would Alexei Ramirez Be Any Better Than Brendan Ryan?

The Chicago White Sox announced this week that the team has declined the $10 million option on shortstop and former All-Star Alexei Ramirez. The team will instead pay the Cuban-born star a $1 million buyout thus making him a free agent. With the Yankees uncertainty on the bench and the team’s constant need to upgrade, even marginally, would Ramirez be worth signing and putting on the bench at the expense of a $1 million DFA in Brendan Ryan?

Ramirez is currently 34-years old and has played his entire MLB career with the Chicago White Sox after defecting from Cuba. Ramirez is a career .273 hitter with 109 career home runs and 542 RBI in eight seasons. Ramirez was an All-Star as recently as 2014 but age, Mother Nature, a bad White Sox team around him, a lack of motivation or a combination of the four key items here contributed to Ramirez falling off in 2015. Ramirez finished the season batting a career-low .249 with 10 home runs and 62 RBI leading the team to buy out his contract. Would Ramirez be an upgrade over Ryan?

The Yankees presumably have two things in mind this season while they are building their bench. They need defensive versatility, flexibility and ability while also looking to add some right-handed pop into the lineup somehow, someway. Ryan has been considered to be a defensive wizard over his career but I haven’t seen it the last two seasons with the ball club. Ramirez is not going to win you any Gold Glove Awards anytime soon but the offensive edge goes to Ramirez and it’s not even close. Ramirez can play shortstop and third base, the two positions the Yankees need backup help at the most, albeit not as well as Ryan but well enough to justify carrying his bat for 162 games.

Would Ramirez accept a bench role and a spot on the Yankees? That remains to be seen but I can’t see the Ryan contract of $1 million stopping the Yankees from upgrading if they can. If that upgrade brings Ramirez to the Bronx, great. If it doesn’t then Ryan isn’t half bad himself in a small sample size I guess. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)