Something had to give with Erasmo Ramirez, and now we know what:
Mariners?src=hash">#Mariners have traded RHP Erasmo Ramirez to Tampa Bay for LHP Mike Montgomery.— Bob Dutton (@TNT_Mariners) April 1, 2015
Ramirez, twenty-four, was out of options after spending the past three seasons shuttling between Seattle and Tacoma. After a promising rookie campaign, Ramirez struggled in 2013 and 2014, posting an ERA north of five. Long touted for his ability to throw strikes, the Nicaraguan compiled a BB/9 rate just under four over the past two seasons while giving up too many homers to be effective.
Ramirez's days in Seattle were numbered from the time he reached camp this spring. He wasn't going to win a job in the rotation, and with no room in the bullpen, the M's had to part ways with the young right-hander. Perhaps a new coaching staff and a change of scenery can help him improve his breaking stuff and help him hit his ceiling as a backend starter.
The return piece is left-hander Mike Montgomery. Once a top prospect in the Royals system, Montgomery has battled injuries and control problems over the past few years. He's pitched primarily as a starter, although he's reportedly touched 96 MPH as a reliever this spring. His fastball is good, clearly, and the changeup isn't bad either, but without a plus breaking ball, his upside is limited. He'll likely begin the season in Triple-A and he could see time in Seattle this summer, probably out of the bullpen.
All in all it's a nifty move. Montgomery has an option left and can help the M's in 2015. With Ramirez destined for the waiver wire, the Mariners couldn't expect to get much more in return.
Good luck Erasmo.