Ramirez elected free agency after being outrighted from Seattle's 40-man roster Friday. Ramirez only appeared in 10 games for the Mariners in 2018 due to a shoulder injury that cost him over three months of action. In those 10 starts, he logged a 6.50 ERA and 1.40 WHIP with just 33 strikeouts in 45.2 innings. The 28-year-old right-hander will look for a new home after returning to Seattle from Tampa Bay at the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline.
Ramirez will work out of the bullpen to close out the 2018 season with James Paxton and Roenis Elias listed as the Mariners' probable starters for the final two games of their season-ending series with the Rangers. Ramirez lost his rotation spot earlier in the week when Felix Hernandez returned from a hamstring injury, but there was renewed hope that the right-hander might draw a start after the Mariners decided to skip Mike Leake's final turn through the rotation Sunday against Texas. Instead, it appears manager Scott Servais will turn to Elias for those honors, though both Ramirez and/or Leake could be summoned from the bullpen behind Elias. All 10 of Ramirez's appearances with the big club have come as a starter this season, with the 28-year-old submitting a 6.50 ERA and 1.40 WHIP across 45.2 innings.
Mariners manager Scott Servais was non-committal when asked Friday if Ramirez would receive a start during the team's four-game, season-ending series against the Rangers, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. "We'll see. We have guys coming back into the rotation," Servais said. We're trying to get the Oakland series set and we'll see how these guys throw in this series and then see how it all lines up for that last series against Texas." From a performance standpoint, Ramirez has provided little reason for the Mariners to give him another nod, as he's turned in a 5.50 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 6.8 K/9 in his eight outings since returning in August from a long-term absence due to a shoulder injury. With the Mariners bringing back James Paxton (illness) and Felix Hernandez (hamstring) into the rotation for Monday and Wednesday, respectively, the team would have six healthy starters on hand. With Seattle officially eliminated from postseason contention, it wouldn't be surprising if Servais rested one of his incumbent starters and offered Ramirez one final rebound opportunity. Even in that scenario, however, the right-hander wouldn't make for an especially appealing lineup option in most fantasy leagues.
Ramirez allowed four earned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out two across four innings Saturday against the Angels. He did not factor into the decision. The Angels got to Ramirez early, with both Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani taking him deep in the first inning. Ramirez settled in from there, allowing only a solo home run prior to being yanked after the fourth inning. Though he's capable of turning in solid outings, Ramirez has been too inconsistent to trust in most formats, allowing more than three earned runs in four of his last 10 starts.
Ramirez tossed five innings and took a no-decision Sunday, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out four in the 3-2 win over the Yankees. Ramirez has been solid over his last two outings, allowing three runs in 10.1 innings, lowering his season ERA from 6.28 to 5.31 in the process. He's been fairly inconsistent in his 39 innings this season and will take on the Angels on Saturday for his next outing.