Seattle Mariners Trade Erasmo Ramirez For Mike Montgomery


Some will say that it was easy to see this coming. The Seattle Mariners were going to trade Erasmo Ramirez whether we liked it or not – to say nothing of the team’s own desires. No doubt their preference would have been to send Erasmo to Tacoma, but he was out of options. It would have to be a trade.

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Except here’s the thing about out of options players: everyone knows when they’re going to be available, and thus there’s often little incentive to give up anything of value for them. Fortunately for the Mariners, multiple teams found themselves in the position of desperately needing to add an arm late in the spring. This meant they wouldn’t have to give Ramirez away for free, which is why the Mariners now have a Mike Montgomery.

Tampa Bay was the highest bidder for the M’s righty, agreeing to send a guy who was once a legitimate prospect in exchange for Ramirez’s services. Erasmo will step right into Tampa Bay’s rotation as the fourth starter, and he’ll have a chance to stick around even after Alex Cobb and Drew Smyly come back. Seattle doesn’t want/need a long man right now, but the Rays might.

We want to be excited for Erasmo because we like Erasmo. He gets to be a big league starter! Good for him! But now the anxiety of wondering if he was ever going to develop into a consistent force is no longer our burden to shoulder. Montgomery gets to step right into that new void as a once-promising young arm who’s stalled in the high minors. We’ll like him, because it’s in our nature to like these types of guys.

Montgomery rose to prominence as a member of the Royal’s famed Best Farm System Of All Time. He was selected 36th overall in 2008 and got his career off to an exciting start, posting big-league strikeout and walk numbers and miniscule ERAs through the end of 2009. He looked like a stud prospect and graced many a top prospect list.

After an impossibly strong start to 2010 he was promoted to AA, where he started to show his first signs of erosion. Upon a promotion to AAA the wheels started to fall off, as his BB/9 rose above four and his ERA soared to 5.32. He was demoted to start 2012 and pitched even worse, then made 17 AAA starts and continued to be horrible. After the season ended he was included in the James Shields/Wil Myers trade.

As a member of the Rays’ system, Montgomery has continued to be mediocre at best. The hope here is that he’ll react better to this change of scenery than he did to the last one. As a return for an out-of-options fill in, he’s about what you’d expect. Unless there’s still some semblance of upside here – then this has the potential to be a legitimate get.

Montgomery had been transitioning to relief this spring, which seems like the right move. He’s a lefty with a strong change, which means he’s hardly a LOOGY candidate. Most importantly to Seattle, he’s got another option year remaining. In exchange for a pitcher they were going to lose for free otherwise, the M’s get a year’s worth of chances to see if Montgomery can emerge as a legit relief option.

It’s sad that Erasmo’s gone, but it’s cool that the M’s got an interesting player in return for him. Welcome to Seattle, Mike Montgomery! Make yourself at home here. I mean, make yourself at home in Tacoma, but hate it there. Hate it and want more than anything to be in Seattle. Then come to Seattle and stay a while.