Mariners Trade Cishek to Rays for Familiar Face Ramirez
The trade deadline is just around the corner and Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto is busy making deals. In a somewhat surprising move announced this morning, the team sent veteran reliever Steve Cishek to the Tampa Bay Rays to reacquire Erasmo Ramirez.
The deal came as a mild shock when it was announced this morning. The Rays and Mariners have a long history of trades, but it is still odd to see two teams fighting for the same playoff spot make a trade mid-season. This deal does just that.
Erasmo Ramirez, a Mariner from 2012-2014, comes into an unknown role in Seattle. He has bounced around in the rotation and bullpen since joining the Rays. He has started 8 games this season, while appearing in 26 games total. It is unknown if Ramirez will join the rotation or the bullpen, but both are options.
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Perhaps the most likely role is a Chris Devenski type. Multiple innings out of the pen, while also being a standard 7th inning option. If the team is unable to add another starter before the deadline, Ramirez, along with recently acquired Marco Gonzales could replace Yovani Gallardo and Andrew Moore in the rotation.
Ramirez hasn’t changed much in his pitching style. While he is not a strike out guy, Ramirez also does not walk hitters, sporting an impressive 3.44 K/BB ratio. Ramirez has pitched much better as a reliever, boasting an impressive 0.848 WHIP and a lows 3’s ERA.
When facing a hitter for the first time through the order, Ramirez is very good. He has a opponents slash of .229/.236/.486. Ramirez will always struggle with the long ball, but if he can lower that rate, he could be an excellent pitcher to use in creative ways.
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The Rays will use Steve Cishek has a high leverage reliever against righties, a role Cishek is familiar with. Cishek will be a free agent following this season. Ramirez is under club control until after the 2019 season, staying true to the Jerry Dipoto mandate of adding players with some club control remaining.