Although the Orioles were reportedly “trying hard” to get Andrew Cashner, they apparently weren’t trying as hard as the Marlins, who have actually pulled off the Cashner trade. This leaves the Orioles now scraping even farther down into the barrel of available pitchers, with ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reporting the O’s have talked to the Rays about Erasmo Ramirez.
Whenever there’s a trade of a player the Orioles liked, I always try to figure out if the return is one the Orioles could have matched, or should have. It’s going to be tough to figure out what was the exact price for Cashner. The Marlins and Padres ended up pulling off a seven player swap.
The Marlins get two members of the SD rotation - Cashner and 25-year-old rookie righty Colin Rea - and a minor leaguer, with the Padres receiving four players from the Marlins, including Josh Naylor, their first round pick (#12 overall) from last year, and weird delivery reliever Carter Capps.
So that’s another one off the board, leaving the Orioles, apparently, discussing the Rays’ Ramirez. Crasnick says the Orioles would use Ramirez as a starter, though he’s worked out of the Rays bullpen exclusively up to this point in the season.
Ramirez was fine as a starter last season, ending up with a season ERA of 3.75 in 34 games, 27 of which were starts. The 26-year-old righty hasn’t done as well out of the bullpen this year. You’d probably like to see better than a 3.90 ERA and 4.56 FIP for someone the O’s trade for, especially since he isn’t even stretched out as a starter.
Before that, Ramirez was with the Mariners. At that time he was one of those young pitchers who never quite did what you might hope, posting ERAs near or above 5 in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. If the Rays did fix him, is that something that would carry over into an O’s uniform?
A potential plus about Ramirez is that he has three years of team control remaining. He is making a bit more than $2 million in his first year of arbitration as a Super Two player, meaning he’ll get arbitration for four years total instead of the normal three.
Whether or not having three years of Ramirez would be a good thing is something where I feel less sure. The “acquire a guy with multiple years of control” hasn’t worked out for the O’s on a couple of recent occasions, including last year’s trade for Travis Snider. One selling point of Snider is that he could have been on this year’s team too, if only he wasn’t so bad that they had to get rid of him last year.
Ramirez wouldn’t be a flashy acquisition even if he works out OK, but shoot, we’ve all seeing the O’s rotation so far this season. Plugging someone who’s OK into one of those spots could be a big improvement.
Something like Ramirez to the rotation, sending Vance Worley back to a long man/spot starter role, might be just what the O’s need.
They’ll still have to pull off a trade with their thin farm system. No immediate idea what the Rays might look for in order to make a Ramirez trade happen. A guy who’s going to have three years of control is going to cost more than a rental. A positive way to spin that is that there’s more time to get back the value lost in the trade.
Still not an exciting name to toss around, but he sounds like a better choice than a Jeremy Hellickson rental, so that’s something.