SAN FRANCISCO – If only all trades could work out this well.
Last winter, the Giants dealt Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez to the New York Mets for Angel Pagan, whose leadoff presence made him a key contributor to the club’s second World Series title in three seasons.
Now all three players will be wearing a Giants uniform. A few weeks after re-signing Torres to platoon with Gregor Blanco in left field, the Giants confirmed to CSNBayArea.com that they have agreed to terms on a minor-league contract with Ramirez to provide right-handed depth in their bullpen.
Ramirez’s signing hasn’t been announced by the club but was reported by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The 31-year-old didn’t have a great season with the Mets and dealt with hamstring issues while posting a 4.24 ERA in 63 2/3 innings spanning 58 appearances. His 1.48 strikeout-to-walk ratio was not a good sign, either.
Ramirez was kindred spirits with Aubrey Huff, in a sense. Like Huff, who injured his knee while failing to jump the dugout rail in celebration of Matt Cain’s perfect game last June, Ramirez sustained his hamstring pull while running to congratulate Johan Santana upon completing the first no-hitter in Mets franchise history.
Ramirez is not far removed from better days. He was a steady and serviceable right-hander in 2011 with the Giants while posting a 3.15 ERA in 66 games. And he was nothing short of brilliant in 2010 following a minor trade from Boston, putting up a 0.67 ERA in 25 games to help the Giants win the NL West on their way to their first World Series title in San Francisco franchise history.
The Giants looked in Ramirez’s direction after talks fell apart with right-hander Brandon Lyon, who is on the verge of signing with the Mets. Lyon wanted a more defined late-inning role with a better opportunity to scoop up save opportunities, and while the Giants do plan to employ a committee, right-handers Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla would be more established in the pecking order.
There is one more offshoot to the Ramirez deal. Since it’s a minor league contract, it won't max out the 40-man roster – meaning there's still space to sign, for instance, Brian Wilson.
Maybe the Giants would find room for Willie Mays, if the Mets were to trade him back, too.