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Acquired LHP Mike Montgomery from the Rays in exchange for RHP Erasmo Ramirez. [3/31]

With Erasmo Ramirez out of options, the Mariners flipped him for a low-certainty, high-upside prospect who, most importantly, can spend some times in the minor leagues. As he was once the top-ranked prospect in the Royals system (2010) and once a five-star prospect per Kevin Goldstein (2011), to say that Montgomery’s star has faded would be akin to saying Kevin Kiermaier has nice eyes. While he breezed through the lower minors and Double-A, Montgomery stalled out at Triple-A in 2011 and has been stuck in second gear ever since.

While he might not be the front-of-the-rotation starter that so many analysts and prognosticators once foresaw, he can still be of use to an organization. Left-handed pitchers with above-average fastballs make cats envious with the number of lives they get, and Montgomery fits that bill as well. He pairs an above-average changeup with that fastball, and rounds out his pitch mix with a slider and curveball, neither of which approaches average. Seattle, should he reach it, is generous in regards to its room for error and that’s exactly what Montgomery needs, as his command and control both sit well below average. The realistic probability here is LOOGY/swingman, with the upside of a back-end starter and the downside of a cautionary tale. —Craig Goldstein

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Acquired RHP Erasmo Ramirez from the Mariners in exchange for LHP Mike Montgomery. [3/31]

We've entered that part of the spring where players without options or roster spots are on the move. Ramirez, who again failed to secure a job with the Mariners, checks both boxes.

Ramirez is short and thick and resembles Felix Hernandez's son or kid brother. Unfortunately, the Prince lacks the King's best qualities. Ramirez's top offering is a changeup that runs and sinks and plays off his low-90s fastball due to his maintained arm speed. The rest of his arsenal, however, is thin. Neither his slider nor his curveball profile as an average offering, and last season those pitches accounted for more than half the 13 home runs he allowed. The upside here is a back-of-the-rotation starter, while the most-likely scenario sees him land in the bullpen.

Sure enough, expect Ramirez to open the season in the rotation and slide to relief once Alex Cobb and/or Drew Smyly returns from the disabled list. Ramirez could serve as the mop-up man, though there's a chance his fastball-changeup combination plays up in relief and allows him to pitch in middle relief. The Rays will take it given the cost, even knowing there are legitimate reasons behind his banishment from the kingdom. —R.J. Anderson

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Claimed LHP Andrew McKirahan off waivers from the Marlins. [4/1]

Selected in the Rule 5 draft from the Cubs, McKirahan has seldom pitched since being drafted in 2011. In fact, last season he more than doubled his career innings total by tossing 65 frames. Nonetheless the Braves, like the Marlins before them, were enticed by McKirahan's strike-throwing ways and quality fastball-changeup combination. John Hart has already released James Russell, and could do the same in the coming days with Josh Outman, so McKirahan has a real chance to crack Atlanta's Opening Day bullpen. —R.J. Anderson

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Reportedly agreed to a four-year extension with CF-R Juan Lagares worth $23 million that includes a club option worth $9.5 million. [4/1]

Lagares receives the first extension for a Met since David Wright, back in November 2012, and the first pre-arb extension for a Met since Jonathan Niese, some three years ago.

Because this pact doesn't take effect until next season, Sandy Alderson effectively bought out Lagares' arbitration seasons (he would've been a Super Two qualifier) and gained a year of control. The obvious comparison to make here is with Franklin Gutierrez, who some five years ago signed a four-year extension worth more than $20 million with the Mariners. Gutierrez's contract became a sunk cost due to persistent and wide-ranging health woes, but the hope with him was the same as the hope is with Lagares: that he hits enough to keep his elite center-field defense in the lineup.

On that note, last season offered some good and bad developments. Lagares improved his overall performance, sliced into his strikeout rate, and showed more stolen-base ability than he had during his rookie season. Alas, those gains were met with a decline in walk rate (down to 4.4 percent, fourth worst among center fielders with 400-plus plate appearances) and a reaffirmation that he's not going to hit for much power. Every hitter is dependent to some degree on his batting average, but Lagares is reliant upon singles to an extreme extent; he's simply not going to be productive at the plate if he doesn't have a high average.

With that in mind, going year-to-year with Lagares would've been a sound play; the risk being that he wins another Gold Glove or two, posts a high average a couple more times, or employs an agent who convinces arbitrators that his client is the best defender on the planet. Ultimately, the money involved isn't enough to fret too much about it one way or another; however, it is a surprising and perhaps unnecessary investment for a franchise that, as of late, has been reluctant to spend. —R.J. Anderson

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FREE JUAN LAGARES!! The Mets handling of Lagares has come full circle. Last year a fan revolt occurred when Collins kept him on the bench for no other reason than Collins questionable managerial skills. If he can get his OPS up to .750, a big if, he is 5 WARP player and the cost here is miniscule for that potential.