PEORIA, Ariz. — The Mariners solved their Erasmo Ramirez dilemma Tuesday night by trading the right-handed pitcher to Tampa Bay for left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery.
Ramirez, 24, is out of options, but the Mariners had no place for him on their 25-man roster. That meant they either had to trade him or risk losing him on a waiver claim.
In contrast, Montgomery, 25, has options and is likely to start the season at Triple-A Tacoma. He was 10-5 with a 4.29 ERA last season in 25 starts at Triple-A Durham.
Montgomery was a supplemental first-round pick by Kansas City in 2008 and once viewed as that organization’s top pitching prospect. Baseball America ranked him among the game’s top-40 prospects from 2010-12.
He has yet to reach that potential and has never pitched in the big leagues. Montgomery is 42-47 with a 4.28 ERA in seven minor-league seasons.
The Rays acquired Montgomery as part of a seven-player trade on Dec. 9, 2012 that also netted outfielder Wil Myers and pitcher Jake Odorizzi and sent pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals.
Ramirez opened last season with the Mariners but spent much of the year at Tacoma. He is 7-12 with a 4.62 ERA in 47 games, including 35 starts, over parts of three big-league seasons.