Alexei Ramirez Ready to Steady Padres at Shortstop


The Padres set out for the 2015-16 off-season with many needs – but tops on their list was finding a full time starting shortstop. They were linked early to be front runners for Ian Desmond, but in the end his price was too high and they got their man in former White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez. Now Ramirez is ready to steady the Padres as the veteran in the infield.

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They signed Alexei to a one year deal for $3M with a club option for 2017 based on not only how Ramirez performs but also where the Padres shortstops will be in one year’s time. He is happy to be with his new club as reported by Corey Brock.

“I’m very happy. I’m here to help the team, and I’m also here to win. I’m going to get behind the other guys on the infield and the entire team to be able to get to that point of winning.”

Ramirez should bring stability to the Padres infield they have had a tough time finding in recent years. They have used 18 shortstops since 2009. Ramirez has played at least 154 games each of the past six seasons. He also had a strong second half as he hit .277 with 8 HR in the second half which the Padres are banking on.

What impressed Andy Green was his willingness to learn and be coachable as well, especially for a veteran on a team that Green is eager to help improve and shape in his own image. A big characteristic Green was looking for was his players to be coachable. He discussed this trait with Ramirez in the winter meetings, but his feelings were validated the first time he saw him after signing him. Ramirez came right up and asked him what he wanted to teach him. Consider the new manager sold:

“There was a hunger to improve himself, I think he had offers to be a utility guy that may have even paid him more at other places. But he believes he’s an everyday shortstop. I believe he’s an everyday shortstop. We’re going to lean heavily on him.”

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In the Padres 2016 infield, they have a first year full time baseman in Wil Myers, a rookie at second in Cory Spangenberg, a first year full time third baseman at third base, all anchored (in theory) by the 8 year player Alexei Ramirez at shortstop. He brings a veteran presence that will certainly be needed as the Padres try to improve this year from last until the kids in the minor leagues are ready.