Tag:Alexei Ramirez
Posted on: December 1, 2011 8:12 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 9:01 pm

Thursday rumors: White Sox, Prado, Kuroda, more

By Matt Snyder

The Hot Stove
Just a few days to what should prove to be a very busy Winter Meetings, so let's hit a bunch of the smaller rumors from Thursday, the first day of December.

• The White Sox are in a situation where they're most certain to be sellers on the trade market in an attempt to rebuild their barren farm system. CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports that other teams are so sure the White Sox are selling that they're inquiring about shortstop Alexei Ramirez and young pitcher Chris Sale. But, Knobler adds, the price for either would be "sky high." Talks on a contract extension with starting pitcher John Danks are in a "stalemate" and it's possible he's traded (ESPN Chicago). Remember, earlier this week we passed along the report that the White Sox were trying to deal reliever Matt Thornton and we've heard rumors involving starting pitcher Gavin Floyd and right fielder Carlos Quentin for weeks. Long-time left-handed starting pitcher Mark Buehrle is a free agent and expected to be gone. Jon Heyman reports there are 14 teams after Buehrle, so he may be the most popular player on the free agent market.

• The Rockies are still interested in Martin Prado, Knobler reports, and the Braves like outfielder Seth Smith as a piece coming back -- but the Braves also want Rockies third base prospect Nolan Arenado and, as Knobler said, that's not happening.

• It's looking less likely the Dodgers can retain starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, reports Knobler. Kuroda made $12.5 million last season and the Dodgers won't come close to paying him that much to stick around. The interesting factor here is Kuroda has said he won't pitch for any other team in America. So if he doesn't want to sign for what the Dodgers offer, he may well be headed back to Japan.

Angels infielder Maicer Izturis was discussed in trade talk between the Angels and Rockies before the Chris Iannetta trade was completed -- CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reports -- so Izturis is available. The Tigers have been connected with Izturis in rumors this week.

• The Brewers, Cardinals and Giants are all looking at free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez (Jon Heyman).

• The Rangers are hopeful of getting a long-term contract extension done with catcher Mike Napoli (Jon Paul Morosi). If he doesn't sign an extension, Napoli would be a free agent after the 2012 season.

• The Diamondbacks have made a contract offer to first baseman Lyle Overbay (Fox Sports Arizona).

Earlier Thursday we noted that the Marlins were wooing closer Heath Bell, and you can now add the Blue Jays to the mix. They are after his services, reports Ken Rosenthal.

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Posted on: November 10, 2011 4:38 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 9:51 pm

Five hits, misses on recent Cuban imports

By Matt Snyder

With 26-year-old Cuban star Yoennis Cespedes ready to join Major League Baseball, it's worth taking a look at some of the recent Cuban players to defect to America. Obviously, there have been lots of players in history to come to America from Cuba and the interesting twist is that not near as much is known about these players as ones from other international destinations due to the embargo. So it's often a bit of a guessing game, in conjunction with Cuban numbers (which sometimes vary) and individual team workouts. Here are five recent hits and misses on Cuban imports -- at least as things appear now.

So far, so good

Yonder Alonso, Reds. The 24-year-old slugger looks like a rising star, if the Reds can either find a defensive spot for him or trade him somewhere that he can play everyday (or trade Joey Votto and play Alonso at first?!). In only 98 plate appearances in the majors, the highly-touted prospect hit .330 with five homers, 15 RBI and a .943 OPS this past season.

Aroldis Chapman, Reds. He went through a stretch of command problems in 2011 -- in six appearances he allowed 13 walks and 11 earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings -- but was strong once again after he was recalled from the minors. We've seen the phenom hit 105 on the radar gun and the strikeout rate (90 K in 63 1/3 innings) bodes well for the success of the 23-year-old lefty moving forward. Plus, considering the aforementioned horrifying stretch of six games, Chapman still has a 3.27 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 69 appearances.

Kendrys Morales, Angels. He finished fifth in American League MVP voting in 2009 and was having another good season in 2010 before a broken leg hit the pause button on his career.

Alexei Ramirez, White Sox. In four big-league seasons, the average line for the Cuban Missile has been .279/.323/.421 with 17 homers, 71 RBI, 75 runs and 12 stolen bases. Lots of teams would take that from their shortstop.

Dayan Viciedo, White Sox. Sure, I'm banking on him blossoming at the major-league level, but Viciedo has shown good power at every stop. Last season, he hit .296 with 20 homers, 78 RBI and an .856 OPS in Triple-A. Those who have seen him in person know he's capable of some prodigious shots, too, like Mark Reynolds-level power. Considering Viciedo's only 22, there's definitely a good shot he becomes a 25-to-30-homer guy in the majors.

So far, not so good

Francisley Bueno. The 30-year-old left-handed pitcher has logged over 500 mediocre minor-league innings. His shot in the bigs lasted just 2 1/3 innings for the Braves, in which he allowed five hits and two earned runs.

Barbaro Canizares. He actually mashed in the Mexican League (Triple-A) in 2011, hitting .396/.499/.653 with 20 homers in just 83 games, so maybe he'll back. But he always hit in the minors before, too, it was getting a shot in the bigs that was a problem for Canizares. He only received 21 plate appearances for the Braves in 2009, getting just four hits (.190). He's 31 years old.

Yoslan Herrera. His major-league stint came back in 2008, when Herrera put together five unimpressive outings (9.82 ERA, 2.56 WHIP). He last pitched in the minors in 2010 for the Twins' Triple-A affiliate, putting together a 6.08 ERA in 26 2/3 innings.

Yuniesky Maya, Nationals. He's 1-4 with a 5.52 ERA and 1.55 WHIP in 58 2/3 innings at the big-league level. He hasn't fared much better in Triple-A and he's now 30 years old.

Amauri Sanit, Yankees. He's good if he's facing Double-A or worse competition, but after that it's been pretty bad. Sanit has a 5.99 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 50 Triple-A appearances and was horrible (12.86 ERA, 2.14 WHIP) in seven major-league innings this season. He's 32 and first made an appearance in the minors in 2008, so it's hard to see much changing.

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Posted on: July 10, 2011 12:37 am
Edited on: July 10, 2011 1:11 pm

3 Up, 3 Down: Ramirez with bookend RBI

By Matt Snyder

Alexei Ramirez, White Sox. The Cuban Missile got the White Sox started and then finished the game off Saturday. In the first inning, Ramirez homered to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. When he came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, the White Sox were tied 3-3. A loss would have been their 10th straight against the Twins. But instead, Ramirez singled home A.J. Pierzynski to win it.

Torii Hunter, Angels. The veteran right fielder pretty much took care of the Mariners himself in the Angels' 9-3 win Saturday. Hunter clubbed two home runs and drove home five. It helped the Angels stay just one game behind the surging Rangers in the AL West.

Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies. The Rockies have been one of the bigger first-half disappointments in baseball, as many expected them to compete for both the NL Wild Card and the NL West title. Instead they're sitting a handful of games below .500. One of the reasons has been the underperformance of ace Jimenez. He came into his Saturday start with a 3-8 record, 4.39 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. Maybe his outing against the Nats Saturday will get things going. Jimenez went eight strong, allowing only five hits, one walk, one run and striking out eight. The Rockies have now won two straight after a five-game losing streak.

Special mention: It's not rare to see Jose Bautista hit home runs (anymore), but two Saturday gave him 31 before the All-Star break. What is this, 2001?

Mike Quade, Cubs manager. Quade pulled Ryan Dempster after five innings and 87 pitches. That's not exactly egregious, though it does feel early for a guy who wasn't getting knocked around in a major way. Yet it worked. The Cubs won as the bullpen threw four scoreless innings. But Dempster and Quade got into a pretty decent argument when Quade told his pitcher he was taking him out of the game. Again, if this was a stand-alone issue, it's basically a non-issue. But Quade's Cubs are 17 games under .500, he constantly makes questionable decisions -- take bunting with Marlon Byrd when light-hitting Tony Campana was on deck earlier this week -- and now he's arguing with a player. And Quade's big selling point was supposedly that he's a player's manager. Instead, he appears to be in over his head.

Brewers' bullpen. The Brewers found a way to get to extra innings against the Reds Saturday, but allowing five runs in the 10th inning is pretty tough to overcome, and now the Brewers are back tied with the Cardinals atop the NL Comedy Central. This one was noteworthy because it was the 20th loss this season for the Brewers, tops in all of MLB.

People complaining about Derek Jeter. Sorry, 3,000 hits is a huge milestone. Of all the players who have ever played baseball, only 28 have gotten there. It's a big deal. And it was pretty awesome that he hit a now-rare home run in getting there. If you feel the need to be negative instead of just enjoying the moment, maybe you shouldn't be a baseball fan. The whole reason we watch the game is to enjoy it, so let's enjoy the achievement.

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Posted on: June 20, 2011 11:59 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 1:37 am

Ozzie Guillen ejected, kicks facemask away

By Evan Brunell

GuillenOzzie Guillen was up to his old antics on Monday, being tossed in the sixth inning when he argued that Alexei Ramirez fouled off a ball instead of grounding out. Ramirez beat a ball into the ground but the umpire's view was obscured by catcher Geovany Soto, who pounced on the ball and tagged Ramirez out, although it appeared Soto picked up the ball in foul territory, which would have allowed Ramirez to continue batting.

Guillen rushed out of the dugout, showing umpire James Hoye exactly where the ball was, but earned an ejection. Guillen angrily kicked away Soto's mask, which you can see in the video right here before continuing with his argument. There was some laughter to be had after, as Soto could not find his mask.

"The look on Soto’s face when he got his facemask kicked, that was priceless," Konerko told MLB.com, while Guillen rolled his eyes when he said the umpire was right and he was wrong, according to the Chicago Tribune. He added that he would have broken his toe 20 years ago had he kicked a catcher's mask, given that they were much heavier back then.

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The photo is a screenshot taken during the MLB video linked above, credited to MLB.

Posted on: May 10, 2011 1:12 pm

White Sox starting to 'put it on the board'

By Matt Snyder

The Chicago White Sox were a popular pick to the win the AL Central prior to the 2011 season. I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you why I picked them. The starting rotation is strong and the offense looked to be powerful.

Instead, the offense was abominable through last Friday. The White Sox had dropped eight of nine games and sat in last place in a pretty bad division at 11-22. While the back-end of the bullpen has been a serious concern, the most head-scratching problem with the team was the lack of offense. From April 15 through May 6, the White Sox scored more than three runs four times -- two of those were four-run games. They scored either zero or one run seven times. This was a 20-game stretch.

If you look at the currrent seasonal totals for American League ballclubs, the White Sox rank 10th in runs, 10th in batting average, ninth in on-base percentage and 10th in OPS. The problems were evident all over the place. Adam Dunn had an awful transition to the AL, possibly affected by his appendectomy (though Matt Holliday seems to be just fine). A.J. Pierzynski can't hit anymore. Juan Pierre hasn't been getting hits like he usually does and has gotten caught stealing (eight) more times than he's stolen a base (six). Alex Rios got off to a pitiful start while Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez have scuffled more times than not as well.

You can say what you want about that collection of players, but you cannot dispute there is lots of talent there. I've seen many fans complaining about having a bunch of strikeout machines, but only three AL teams have struck out less than the White Sox. There is lots of power, but there is also speed and it's not an overly old bunch. The oldest one is Paul Konerko and he's been raking.

Now, with a three-game winning streak, it appears the lineup is waking up from its collective funk. Konerko has been consistent and hitting well all season. Carlos Quentin has had some insane hot streaks. He's up and down, but still has a .944 OPS with eight home runs and 23 RBI. They just needed everyone else to wake up and it could very well be happening.

In the past three games, the White Sox have scored 19 runs. Two of those came in the pitcher's paradise known as Safeco Field, too.

Some of the individuals who had been struggling are waking up, which only alleviates the collective pressure on the entire lineup.

Beckham went 6-15 (.400) in the series with two doubles, a home run, three RBI and three runs. Ramirez went 3-8 with a double and a home run in the past two games. Dunn went 5-13 (.385) with three doubles and four runs in the last three. Rios has gone 11 for his past 28 with a 1.036 in the past seven games. Even Brent Morel went 5-8 over the weekend.

The White Sox are still just 14-22 and a whopping 9 1/2 games out on May 10. That's an uphill climb. But the bats are starting to wake up, the bullpen hasn't been near as bad in recent weeks and Jake Peavy is coming back to bolster the rotation. There are five games left on a west-coast trip against some pretty good pitching. If the White Sox win two of those games, the 5-4 trip would be considered a success and they'd be coming home to a seven-game homestand in one of the best hitter's parks in the majors.

If you still don't buy the Indians -- and note that the rest of the division is flawed -- don't count the White Sox out. Remember, baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint.

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Posted on: April 13, 2011 1:48 am
Edited on: April 13, 2011 2:21 pm

3 up, 3 down for 4/12: Alexei's missiles

By Matt Snyder


Alexei Ramirez, White Sox. The Cuban Missile launched a few bombs of his own Tuesday night, the latter of which emphatically ended an extra-innings victory for the White Sox. All told, he scored three of the White Sox's six runs and drove home four of them.

Tommy Hanson, Braves. The Braves entered the game having lost of five of six games while Hanson was 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA after two starts. With the offense entering the game reeling, a big pitching performance was needed to ease some of the pressure, and Hanson came through. The 24 year old worked seven shutout innings against the Marlins, only allowing four hits and two walks while striking out five. The outing -- along with the five runs the offense scored -- should be enough to get the team back on track.

Michael Pineda, Mariners. The burly right-hander is a specimin, I tell you. He stands at 6-foot-7 and hits up to 99 on the radar gun. Through seven shutout innings, he was absolutely dealing for the Mariners. They tried to get one more out of him and he didn't have enough steam left to finish the eighth. Still, he ended with 7 1/3 innings, five hits, two earned runs and seven strikeouts against a pretty potent offense in the Blue Jays. He picked up his first career win in his first career start at Safeco Field. 


The Cubs. What a disaster. Poor planning left this one an obvious loss for the Cubs. The players sure played like they expected to lose, too. Let's see ... three errors, Tyler Colvin loses a fly ball, back-to-back Astros bunt singles began the start for relief pitcher James Russell -- who was on a 55-pitch count by the way -- and you have the recipe for an 11-2 loss. To be fair to Russell, his final line shouldn't have looked near as bad. Nearly every batted ball found a hole and the defense was atrocious behind him. Plus, he's a reliever that was trying to get through three innings before the Cubs emptied the rest of the bullpen (is it spring training?). One Chicago outlet said Jeff Samardzija was a "bright spot." Really? He allowed three hits, a walk and two earned runs to the Astros in three innings. I'll grant it was probably the best he's ever looked, but that's not saying much at all. Just erase this one from memory and move on.

Cardinals pitching staff. Not to be outdone by their rivals, the Cardinals coughed up 13 runs to the Diamondbacks. Considering Chris Carpenter was taking the hill, this one has to be considered worse. He was lit up for eight runs on eight hits and three walks in just four innings. He gave up a reported 478-foot bomb to Justin Upton. What's worse for the Cards, the offense actually crawled back into the game -- cutting it to 9-8 at one point -- but then the middle relief melted down. The final tally: 13-8 D-Backs.

Cory Luebke, Padres. Well, he got two outs in the top of the 11th, but then everything unraveled. The blow-by-blow for the rest of the inning reads as follows: single, double, walk, single single, homer to dead center, groundout. That's six runs on five hits, including a mammoth exclamation point by Drew Stubbs to make it 8-2 -- the eventual final. Have fun trying to chip away at that ERA now an inning at a time, Cory. That's quite the unappealing uphill battle.

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Posted on: January 31, 2011 6:54 pm

Ramirez, White Sox agree to extension

RamirezThe White Sox have handed Alexei Ramirez a new deal that will pay him $34.5 million over the next four seasons, along with a club option worth $10 million.

The deal, as reported by Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald, ties the 29-year-old to Chicago until at least 2014, which buys out all of his arbitration years and first year of free agency. The Cuban Missile was set to make an outrageously low $2.875 million in 2010 before heading into arbitration. While he may earn a similar amount in 2011 with much of the salary coming in the latter years, he will earn an average annual value of $8.625 million over the four years, not including the club option.

Ramirez was perhaps the best shortstop in the AL, flashing good defense and a bat that put forth 18 home runs en route to a .282/.313/.431 line. And yes, that's plenty enough to put him in the conversation for best shortstop in the AL. If you want to see how he ranks among all shortstops, check back Wednesday when the Facts and Rumors team unveils the positional rankings for short. (First base was today.)

It's a fantastic signing for Chicago. They lock up one of the better performers at a position that is hard to come by these days for quality names (although some young players are starting to make waves there, like Cliff Pennington, Ian Desmond, Elvis Andrus and Starlin Castro) and do so at very reasonable dollars.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Category: MLB
Posted on: December 1, 2010 1:40 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2010 3:18 pm

Alexei Ramirez declines player option

Ramirez Alexei Ramirez has opted out of his $1.1 million player option, and thus will be headed to arbitration unless the White Sox exercise its $2.5 million option, which the team is expected to do as ChicagoBreakingSports.com says.

Ramirez, in a talent pool thin on shortstops, is among the best of the crop after hitting .282/.313/.431 with 18 home runs in 626 plate appearances and scoring well on defense.

Before the White Sox pick up the option, the two sides are expected to talk about a long-term deal.

"We're very willing to discuss that," agent Jaime Torres said. "If there is a person happy at being a Chicago White Sox, it is Alexei Ramirez."

Already 29, Ramirez is tied to the team via arbitration until after the 2013 season, so Ramirez doesn't have much to gain from waiting until free agency when he can lock into cost-certainty now. Given what he could lock in now in exchange for buying out the first year or two of free agency likely makes more sense for Ramirez, especially as his figure will rise prominently next season after options no longer tie into his deal.

UPDATE : SI.com 's Jon Heyman reports the White Sox will indeed pick up the option, although it probably won't become official immediately. It's a no-brainer.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com