Mariners Release HoRam

Yesterday, the Seattle Mariners released former Brave Horacio Ramirez. I was never a big HoRam fan, largely because the Braves always issued favorable HoRam talking points to reporters who repeated them to the public. He was a quietly polarizing player: you could divide Braves fans according to their opinion of him. (I know it seems hard to be “quietly polarizing” but if you were around when HoRam pitched for the Braves, I think you would agree with the term.) It was obvious from early on that he wasn’t ever going to be all that good. Still, there are plenty of players in the major leagues are aren’t all that good. You have to have some below-average players.

Here is what I had to say about him just after the Braves traded him.

With a market that’s paying Tanyon Sturtze $1.1 million, pitchers like Horacio Ramirez have value. Like Kevin Gryboski, I didn’t like seeing HoRam on the mound; I had no confidence in him. But at the end of the year, when I’d look back on his performance I could definitely see he’s not good, but there were many worse options out there….He’s not close to sniffing Triple-A ball, but just don’t expect anything more than a fifth starter. My guess is that Seattle isn’t anywhere near his last stop. He’s the type of guy who will go from team to team to fill out rotations.

I think the Mariners gave up on him too quickly. He was owed $2.75 million this year. I have his 2007—the worst season of his career—valued at $2.85 million. Soriano was barely more valuable at $3.36 million. HoRam is 28, left-handed, and has shown the ability to eat innings in the past. In a world where Jason Marquis can get a three-year $21 million contract, Horacio Ramirez has value. Why not at least try converting him to a LOOGY? It’s the WHIL principle, as Alex Remington calls it: Well, He IS a Lefty.

For another take, USS Mariner likes the deal. I can sympathize, because I do recall how good it felt to seem him finally gone.

Robert Downey, Jr. could asks this guy on advice for how to ask for second chance. The Braves have really gone out of there way to portray him as something special. Let me just say that Braves fans are tired of it; more so than seeing Jeff Francoeur hit pop flys to a kid in The Netherlands for Delta during the commercial break he just created. He doesn’t strike out hitters. He’s not particularly skilled at preventing walks or home runs. On top of this, he keeps getting injured, which has probably done more to prolong the team’s patience with him. Now, the team is finally moving on.

Someone will definitely pick him up, and I won’t be surprised or disappointed if it is the Braves.

4 Responses “Mariners Release HoRam”

  1. Kyle S says:

    JC, with all due respect, if your model thinks 98 low-average leverage innings with a 7.16 ERA in Safeco is worth as much as 72 high-leverage innings with a 3.00 ERA, something is wrong with your model. Based on past discussions, I know the reason has to do with how your model treats home runs. I agree that home runs are bad, but come on – one guy gave up 86 runs in 98 innings, and the other gave up 26 runs in 72 innings.

    To put it another way – if Soriano had given up 60 runs in 26 additional innings, would that have only decreased the value he provided by $500k? That’s just crazy!

  2. JC says:


    Part of the difference is explained by their deviations from DIPS-based projection. Soriano outperformed his peripherals and HoRam underperformed.

    Player: ERA / FIP
    HoRam: 7.16 / 5.60
    Soriano: 3.0 / 4.12

  3. Marc Schneider says:

    As bad as HoRam was at times with the Braves, there were also times when he was quite effective. The problem was, he was terrible on the road, as I recall and has a lot of bad games against teams like the Mets and Phillies. And when he was bad, he was terrible. I liked the deal for Soriano but HoRam would have probably been as good or better than the guys the Braves actually ran out as the 4/5 starters last year. They really never did replace the innings that HoRam gave them.

  4. Jason S. says:

    I have to agree with Kyle S here. Something is wrong here. Instead of being merely awful, HoRam was horrifically bad. Instead of being average, Soriano was good. So there’s only half a million dollars of difference between that? It seems to me that the model is unfairly punishing Soriano for being better than expected and not doing enough to hold Ramirez accountable for being horrible.

    I know JC won’t agree, but in my opinion a “good” (ha ha) Ramirez is still pretty bad. Maybe he could become a LOOGY, but I think at this point everybody has figured out that he’s not going to be able to do any more than that and nobody wants to waste their time to see if he can do that. Yes, he can eat innings for you, as long as you know that once he enters the game, it’s lost. I’m just having a hard time believing that there’s any real value in this. I think we could argue that HoRam is so far worse than being a replacement player that he may have pitched his way out of the big leagues for good.