Out of options with RHP Erasmo Ramirez, who was destined for the waiver wire, the Mariners instead traded him Tuesday to Tampa Bay for LHP Mike Montgomery, 25, who has the last of his three 2015 options left. He has never pitched an inning in the big leagues.
Montgomery was on Tampa’s 40-man roster this spring after a 2014 season when he won a career-high 10 games with AAA Durham, ranking second in the International League in wins.
A native of Santa Clarita, CA., Montgomery had 150 career starts with the Royals (2008-12) and Rays (2013-14). He was Kansas City’s supplemental first-round pick in the 2008 June draft (36th overall). He was acquired by the Rays prior to the 2013 season as part of a seven-player trade involving RHP James Shields, RHP Wade Davis and OF Wil Myers.
This spring, he had six relief appearances, posting a 2.38 ERA (3 ER, 11.1 IP) with nine strikeouts and two walks. Montgomery was rated by Baseball America and MLB.com as one of the top 50 prospects in baseball as recently as the 2012 season. He has been voted by Baseball America as having the best change-up in his organization in each of the last four seasons (2013-14 with TB, 2011-12 with KC).
Ramirez, a native of Nicaragua, made 35 starts in the past three seasons for Seattle. In 18 spring innings, he gave up 18 hits and nine earned runs (6.23 ERA), and pitched himself out of contention for the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation.