Padres Sign Shortstop Alexei Ramirez – At Last!

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The search for a shortstop of the San Diego Padres finally came to a conclusion Thursday with the Padres signing free agent Alexei Ramirez to a one year contract pending a physical. The signing ends a search that saw the full gamut of options from doing nothing, to advancing a prospect not ready, to paying out more money and years to Ian Desmond. I love this deal.

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The Padres have used an astounding 18 shortstops since 2009, and none have had any long-term viability. Everth Cabrera performed the best during that span, until he received a 50 game suspension for drug use before he was named again in the BioGenesis scandal. After that he essentially self-destructed himself out of baseball.

Last season Alexi Amarista and Clint Barmes formed a punchless platoon that interim manager Pat Murphy got tired of and ended up playing Jedd Gyorko there for a while near the end of the season. If you have seen Jedd Gyorko you can see his range limitations though in my opinion he did play better than expected.

The club has not yet confirmed the deal or given financial terms, though again it is rumored to only be a one year deal.

Ramirez is 34 years old and seems more content with a shorter deal than the younger Ian Desmond who appeared to be the front runner for the new shortstop not long ago. Ramirez is a career 273/.310/.399 hitter with two Silver Slugger Awards to his credit. He has also played 136 games every season he has been a big league player and in the last six has managed to play at least 154. So it does appear as if the revolving door should be closed for at least one season.

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The Padres have several exciting shortstop prospects in the organization, including Jose Rondon, Carlos Asuajue and 20 year old Javier Guerra as the favorite to take over right now as the shortstop of the future. Guerra was acquired as part of the Craig Kimbrel trade.

This also seems to be a big of a moral victory for A.J. Preller. Sometimes deals are more than just players – they prove to their fans and the rest of the league a point. See here my theory on why the Nationals are where they are at now in part to the Jayson Werth signing they made several years back. Everyone knew the Padres needed a shortstop for the second straight season, and Preller proved he is just as capable of getting a simple transaction done, one Padres friendly terms, as some of the more complex deals he did last winter in San Diego.

What do you think of the trade? Did the Padres make the right decision?

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