Padres rebrand no longer includes Alexei Ramirez

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Veteran middle infielder Alexei Ramirez was released by the Padres on Sunday, according to’s AJ Cassavell. Ramirez was brought on board in the offseason to cover the club’s shortage of viable shortstops, but it quickly became apparent that the 34-year-old didn’t quite gel with the youth-centered rebuild manager Andy Green had in mind.

Over 128 games in San Diego, Ramirez cultivated a .240/.275/.330 slash line, hitting career lows with just five home runs and a -0.2 fWAR. Production issues aside, he found his infield range diminished and was frequently squeezed out of the lineup by 23-year-old infielder Luis Sardinas. He shifted to right field during his last few starts, acting as a stopgap in the absence of center fielder Jon Jay and utility man Alexi Amarista. With both Jay and Amarista due back from the disabled list later this week, it seemed as good a time as any to restructure the Padres’ infield and outfield options.

As Green put it:

It’s been a tough adjustment for him, being on the field sporadically. It’s different. He’s been doing it another way his whole career.

The Padres’ manager hopes Ramirez will find another landing place before the season’s end, though his skill set lends itself better to an outfield role than another stint at shortstop. Ramirez will receive the rest of his $3 million salary for 2016 and a $1 million buyout for the 2017 season.

Whether or not Green’s rebuilding strategy will take root over the next few seasons remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: with or without Alexei Ramirez, the Padres are still not ready to contend in 2016.

Jones, Maddux, Morris consider Bonds, Clemens for Hall


COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Hall of Famers Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Jack Morris and Ryne Sandberg are among 16 members of the contemporary baseball era committee that will meet to consider the Cooperstown fate of an eight-man ballot that includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro.

Hall of Famers Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell also are on the panel, which will meet in San Diego ahead of the winter meetings.

They will be joined by former Toronto CEO Paul Beeston, former Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs executive Theo Epstein, Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno, Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng, Minnesota Twins president Dave St. Peter and Chicago White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams.

Three media members/historians are on the committee: longtime statistical analyst Steve Hirdt of Stats Perform, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Neal and Slusser are past presidents of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Hall Chairman Jane Forbes Clark will be the committee’s non-voting chair.

The ballot also includes Albert Belle, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy and Curt Schilling. The committee considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on. A candidate needs 75% to be elected and anyone who does will be inducted on July 23, along with anyone chosen in the BBWAA vote, announced on Jan. 24.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in January in their 10th and final appearances on the BBWAA ballot. Bonds received 260 of 394 votes (66%), Clemens 257 (65.2%) and Schilling 231 (58.6%).

Palmeiro was dropped from the BBWAA ballot after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance in 2014, falling below the 5% minimum needed to stay on. His high was 72 votes (12.6%) in 2012.

Bonds denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs and Clemens maintains he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 following a positive test under the major league drug program, just over two weeks after getting his 3,000th hit.

A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds set the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 homers.

Schilling fell 16 votes shy with 285 (71.1%) in 2021. Support dropped after hateful remarks he made in retirement toward Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others.

McGriff got 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the BBWAA ballot in 2019. Murphy was on the BBWAA ballot 15 times and received a high of 116 votes (23.2%) in 2000. Mattingly received a high of 145 votes (28.2%) in the first of 15 appearances on the BBWAA ballot in 2001, and Belle appeared on two BBWAA ballots, receiving 40 votes (7.7%) in 2006 and 19 (3.5%) in 2007.

Players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose.

This year’s BBWAA ballot includes Carlos Beltran, John Lackey and Jered Weaver among 14 newcomers and Scott Rolen, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner among holdovers.