New York Mets Rumors: Is Aramis Ramirez A Trade Target?


New York Mets Rumors: The Mets need to make a move to improve their situation at third base. They have reportedly been in talks with the Milwaukee Brewers, with negotiations centered on third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Would the veteran third baseman really be an upgrade for the Mets at the hot corner in anything more than name recognition over the players they are using currently?

It is no secret that the New York Mets can use some help in their lineup at a number of spots. The Mets originally were worried about their shortstop position, but other positions have surpassed shortstop as Wilmer Flores is essentially the last remaining player on that side of the field. Now at the top of that list is third base, as the injury to David Wright, followed by Dilson Herrera and Daniel Murphy have left the Mets with a gaping hole at that spot.

With uncertainty surrounding Wright, and Herrera a second baseman that enabled Murphy to slide over to third base, the Mets could be in the market for a third baseman. They have been linked to the Oakland Athletics and Ben Zobrist as a trade target. Zobrist isn’t a third baseman though, as he would more than likely be used by the Mets in a utility role, as his ability to play four positions and switch hit would give manager Terry Collins a ton of lineup flexibility.

The Mets have also been linked in some reports to Cincinnati Reds’ third baseman Todd Frazier. He would be a huge upgrade for this lineup, but a costly one as he has a team friendly contract, is under team control for a couple more seasons, and is putting up All-Star numbers. The Mets have shown in the past to be unwilling to part with any of their bigger prospects. Because of that, their trade market is kind of limited, as any team that engages them in trade negotiations wants one of their young pitchers, namely Noah Syndergaard or Steven Matz. Seemingly unwilling to move either of them, the Mets looked destined to be left in the dust in the trade market. But, there could be some help on the way.

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According to Fox Sports, the Mets have been in trade talks with the Milwaukee Brewers. The topic of those trades? None other than the Brewers third baseman, Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez has spent his entire 18 year career with in the NL Central, starting with the Pittsburgh Pirates before going to the Chicago Cubs and spending the past four seasons with the Brewers. But, could Ramirez spend the final months of his MLB career in Queens in the midst of a playoff race?

If any team is looking to add a veteran for the stretch run, look no further than the Brewers. They currently have the second worst record in the major leagues at 22-38, and have been unable to find any traction this season. They will most definitely be sellers at the deadline, as they have a number of veterans including Ramirez that could be had in trade.

For the Mets, the interest in Ramirez is interesting for a couple of reasons. For one, it means they may not be as confident in Wright returning to man the hot corner as he has given off. Getting a player like Ramirez means that he will be manning third base. At this point in his career, he will not be learning a new position as a player such as Frazier may be able to do, and if he is acquired he will be playing third base.

Another reason it is interesting is because of what the Mets may be willing to trade. For what would amount to a true rental, as Ramirez is retiring at the end of the season, the Mets will not want to trade much in the way of assets. On the other hand, the Brewers will be looking to maximize the value of all their players, as they are as far out of the playoff race as anyone and looking towards the future.

Lastly, is Ramirez truly an upgrade over what the Mets currently have at their disposal? It has been no secret that third base has been a little bit of a crater for the Mets this season, as the group of Eric Campbell, Ruben Tejada, Daniel Muno, Wright and Murphy have combined for -0.4 wins above average, 21st in the majors. The Brewers on the other hand are last with -1.4. Ramirez is responsible for a large chunk of that, as he has taken 168 out of the 239 plate appearances for the position.

May 29, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez (16) reacts after fouling out during the seventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

When taking a look at the stats, it makes sense that the Brewers are where they are for third base. Ramirez is having a poor season, as he is on career-low pace for his numbers across the board since becoming a regular starter in 2001. The .284 career hitter is nowhere near that number, as he is closer to the Mendoza line with a .214 batting average to go with a .258 on base percentage and .389 slugging.

Those numbers would not represent much of an upgrade. People have pointed to Zobrist’s numbers as a reason the Mets should pass on him, and should use that same thinking with Ramirez. Unlike Zobrist, Ramirez would bring no position flexibility, and only cause a logjam if Wright does indeed return from the disabled list.

Ramirez is a player in the twilight of his career, as he will be retiring at the conclusion of the 2015 season. The Mets interest in him is not surprising, as he has been a strong producer in his career, but has not shown like he will be getting it back this season. Unless the Mets are getting a huge bargain for him, they should pass as he does not provide much in the way of an upgrade at this point.

If Ramirez is the player the Mets pinpoint as their target, they are cheating themselves and their fans. He can be a complementary addition, as his veteran experience could help a lineup void of much playoff experience. But if he is the sole addition, the Mets fall do not truly believe they are contenders for a playoff spot and their fall will only continue.

Next: Are the Mets in the Top 10 of our Power Rankings?

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