Former White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez has agreed to a one-year deal with the San Diego Padres, as reported by Jon Heyman Thursday afternoon. The Padres struggled at the position last season, using a tandem of Alexei Amarista, who slashed just .204/.257/.287, and veteran utility man Clint Barmes .
Ramirez, 34, who has spent the entirety of his eight years as a professional in Chicago, had a team option for the upcoming season, but it was declined in early November. There was the thought of the club bringing Ramirez back on lesser terms, but nothing came to be.
In his career, Ramirez has smacked 109 home runs and driven in 542 runs while maintaining a .273 clip at the plate. According to CSN Chicago’s Christopher Kamka, Ramirez is one of just three players in White Sox history to hit over 100 home runs and swipe 100 bases, joining Minnie Minoso and Ray Durham.
Ramirez’s numbers dipped this past season after being named an All-Star in 2014 and the White Sox are believed to be looking for an interim shortstop to fill in before top prospect Tim Anderson makes his arrival. Should the Sox agree to financially-friendly terms with a free agent outfielder, there might be enough cash left over to make a run at Ian Desmond.
If Ramirez continues at the pace he was at during the second half of last season (.277 batting average, 8 home runs, 35 RBI), this could turn out to be an under-the-radar move for the Padres. Ramirez has enjoyed success against National League teams, batting .290 in his career with 18 home runs and 78 RBI over a 147-game span.