Aug 16, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox shortstopAlexei Ramirez
(10) throws out Toronto Blue Jays first basemanEdwin Encarnacion
(not pictured) during the sixth inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
There has been talk about if the Chicago White Sox are could be starting to think of a different direction when it comes to their shortstop position and one Alexei Ramirez.
Jul 15, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; American League infielder Alexei Ramirez (right) of the Chicago White Sox greets infielderDerek Jeter
(left) of the New York Yankees as Ramirez replaces Jeter in the field during the 2014 MLB All Star Game at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Ramirez became an All-Star this past season with the White Sox for the first time in his career. He was even the player who replaced now retired New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter in the All-Star game this past July.
Since making his debut with the White Sox on March 31, 2008, Ramirez has played in 1,072 games for the “Good Guys,” and this past season batted .273 with a slugging percentage of .408 in 158 games. In his All-Star season, Ramirez had 170 hits, with 35 doubles, two triples and 15 home runs.
Ramirez collected 74 RBIs in ’14, and stole 21 bases.
It is safe to say Ramirez is a very nice and very important piece to the White Sox puzzle that will be their ’15 lineup. Don’t forget he’s one of the best defensive shortstops in all of baseball. This will be the final year of his contract, unless the White Sox pick up a team option in ’16.
Ramirez is scheduled to be paid $10 million in ’15.
Then again … the White Sox do have a few prospects that have the ability to choose from to play shortstop should the White Sox choose to have “other plans” for Ramirez.
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In an article on whitesox.com by Scott Merkin, it stated the following:
"“If not Ramirez, then who plays shortstop? The answer might be surprising, in that Tyler Saladino sort of fell off the prospect map for a bit and had his ’14 season prematurely ended by Tommy John surgery.”"
The article also quoted White Sox director of player development Nick Capra on Saladino:
"“We moved him around, but shortstop might be his best position.”"
The only way I think the White Sox trade Ramirez is for the missing power bat they need, or maybe for the pitching help they could use at the back end of the rotation. There is also the matter of improving parts of the bullpen.
The White Sox front office also better be 100-percent sure some of their prospects they are looking at can handle the SS position at the MLB level, and have the same bat as Ramirez as well, before making a decision.
If it were me, I would stay with Ramirez for the ’15 season. I would do that for the fact the White Sox can make improvements to the team and still keep the veteran SS on the South Side. Plus, the White Sox need a battle-tested veteran on the club as well to be a leader, with Paul Konerko now retired.
The White Sox are close to becoming a contender once again, and losing Ramirez would be a step back in my opinion, no matter how good a prospect will or could be.
Give us your thoughts on the White Sox and Ramirez.