Padres release veteran shortstop Ramirez

Padres release veteran shortstop Ramirez

LOS ANGELES -- The Padres parted ways with Alexei Ramirez on Sunday morning, following a dismal 2016 campaign for the veteran shortstop.

Ramirez -- who batted .240 with a career-low .605 OPS -- had seen his playing time dwindle over the past two months before he was released.

The Padres signed Ramirez during the offseason, hopeful that he'd build off his strong finish to 2015. But he struggled mightily from the outset on both sides of the ball. The organization's recent youth movement made it clear the Padres wouldn't be picking up Ramirez's $3 million option. They'll pay his $1 million buyout instead.

"Much of what we decided to do with Alexei was kind of liberate him to pursue other opportunities," said Padres skipper Andy Green. "With Jon Jay coming back, with [Alexi] Amarista back, there was really going to be nothing more than a pinch-hit role the rest of the year. We all know he's pretty dead set on wanting to be an everyday player."

For the first eight years of his career, Ramirez served as a very reliable everyday shortstop for the White Sox. With Chicago, he batted .273/.310/.399 and averaged 153 games per season.

That success never translated to San Diego, where he posted the fourth-worst single-season WAR (-2.0) in franchise history. In late July, the Padres began their transition away from Ramirez at shortstop. His playing time first went to prospect Jose Rondon and eventually to Luis Sardinas -- who was acquired via trade last month.

With his time at short decreasing, Ramirez had begun to play in the outfield. It's unclear what -- if any -- role Ramirez would find with another club, but it would likely be as a utility player who specializes in hitting lefties.

"I don't think it's for lack of effort or lack of desire," Green said when asked for the root of Ramirez's struggles. "For us, he didn't cover the ground at shortstop that we'd like to see him cover.

"You're looking for somebody to anchor your infield. That's something, if you look at San Diego, it's been a long time since that's been here -- a shortstop's that can anchor the infield. We're going to continue to search for that. Luis Sardinas has a chance right now to try to establish himself in that role."

Thus far, Sardinas has thrived with the opportunity, posting a .281/.395/.469 slash line since joining the Padres. His defense has been somewhat sloppy, but he's displayed much greater range than Ramirez.

Myers meets Scully

Padres first baseman Wil Myers made a trip to the Dodger Stadium broadcast booth to meet legendary announcer Vin Scully on Sunday morning.

The pair chatted for a few minutes, touching on topics ranging from baseball to Thomasville Furniture in Myers' hometown in North Carolina.

"The things that he's done and the years, and what he's brought to the game -- it's just very important," Myers said. "To go up there and talk to a legend of this game. It was just a really cool experience for me."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.