According to Jon Heyman, the Giants have reached a deal with Ramon Ramirez, prodigal reliever.
Ramon Ramirez, we hardly knew ye. So we brought ye back. According to Jon Heyman, the Giants have signed the right-handed reliever to a contract.
You might remember Ramirez as the fella who gave up the Rick Ankiel home run. You know the one. Fox made it into a GIF that looped endlessly, and the GIF replaced their normal post-game coverage so the production crew could grab a drink at the 21st Amendment. Yeah, that one. But what's overlooked is that Ramirez was pretty good for the Giants that year and the year after ...
... and he was pretty bad for the Mets last year. The gains he made with his strikeout rate in 2011 didn't stick, and his control was off, too. If you're thinking arm injury, which I usually am, it's not showing up in dramatically reduced velocity. We're probably just dealing with sample-size goblins, as is usually the case with relievers.
Last season was actually the first in five seasons in which Ramirez didn't beat his FIP, as he's been better at preventing runs over his career as his peripherals would suggest. Is that a skill or a fluke? No idea. Relievers are annoying. I have no idea which relievers are really good. Craig Kimbrel is probably good. Sergio Romo is probably good. After that, we're all just guessin', man.
That written, I like Ramirez well enough for the Guillermo Mota/Clay Hensley memorial spot. Earlier in the offseason, I wrote that he was the cutoff line for acceptable back-of-the-bullpen help. So here we are. Could have done worse. Could have done better. Still lamenting the Giants missing on Scott Atchison. But at least it's not Mota.
Earlier in the offseason, it seemed like the Giants were close to a deal with Brandon Lyon. There was probably some fine print to go over in the contract when it came to splitting the proceeds of the Lyon hats, no big whoop. But something blew the deal up. And the Giants had a spot left in the bullpen. For a bit, it looked like it was going to go to Scott Proctor or Sandy Rosario ... someone like that, who would make the team with a strong spring training.
Now, it's Ramirez's job to lose.
Welcome back, old friend. And if you pretend that the Giants traded only Zack Wheeler for a half-season of Carlos Beltran, Andres Torres, Angel Pagan, Ramirez, and another championship, well, say, that was a swell deal that worked out for everyone.