The Chicago Tribune reports that the White Sox rejected a deal proposed by the Cardinals that would have shipped pitching prospect Carlos Martinez away as part of a deal that included veteran shortstop Alexei Ramirez.
The story also mentioned the previously reported rumor that the Cardinals are interested in White Sox starter Jake Peavy. But it did not mention if he was involved in the Ramirez trade offer.
It's startling to hear that the Redbirds would be willing to trade their second-best pitching prospect in exchange for a 32-year-old shortstop who is defensively comparable to the guy currently playing the position, Pete Kozma. Especially since Ramirez is owed $19.5 million in 2014 and 2015 with a $1 million buyout on a $10 million option for 2016.
While he's shown good power for a shortstop in the past, hitting 15 homers or more in four of his six MLB seasons, that power came in his first four years. In 2012 he hit nine homers in 158 game and this year he has only one in 93 games. While his power numbers are trending down, Ramirez's on base percentage has been consistent through the years. Unfortunately, it's consistently bad.
He's got a career on-base percentage of .315. It was a career worst .278 last year and stands at .307 this season.
I wonder if the Cardinals have concerns about Martinez's maturity that might have caused them to consider dealing him away.
While I don't know of any serious issues that would negatively impact his ability to pitch, Martinez's hobby seems to be posting odd and creepy self portraits of himself of himself on the internet. Plus the 21-year-old righty has also apparently given himself the nickname "tsunami" which he has had tattooed prominently on his forearm. I'd expect such eccentricities from a lefty pitcher.
Still, giving up a top young pitcher for a past his prime shortstop one-for-one seems like an awful trade. But I reserve judgement because it's so out of whack that I have to believe there were significant other players included in the deal. Even a White Sox fan blog, southsidesox.com seemed shocked that the Pale House would turn down that deal, concluding that there must have been much more to it.
There's still a week to go before the trade deadline. So a lot of things could come together between now and then. But, unless the Cardinals could miraculously find some front end of the rotation starting pitching for a reasonable price -- nearly an impossibility in this market -- I'd prefer that the Redbirds stick with what they have and hold on to their young talent for the future.