ORLANDO — The most important player in most trade discussions the Giants have had this week is still years away from legally being able to grab a drink at the Swan and Dolphin Resort’s busy lobby bar.
After speaking to the Marlins about Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich, the Giants approached the Reds about Billy Hamilton. They have talked to the Cardinals about their young outfielders, and done the same with the Brewers and others. They have found that there’s a common theme in these talks: Per sources, just about every team asks for Heliot Ramos, the 2017 first-round pick.
The Giants like to stay open-minded and rarely deem a player untouchable, but Ramos seems to be just about there. The 18-year-old was the 19th selection in June’s draft, and scouts here in Orlando have said he would easily go in the top 10 if the selections were made today. The Giants view Ramos as a five-tool talent, a potential Yoenis Cespedes-type of athlete with a real chance to stick as a center fielder.
Some in the organization believe he could be the rare Giants prospect to bust into the majors at the age of 21 or 22, and Ramos’ professional debut did not temper expectations. In 138 rookie league at-bats, Ramos hit .348 with six homers, six triples and 11 doubles. He stole 10 bases in 12 attempts. His on-base percentage was .404 and he slugged .645.
It’s a small sample, but you can see why the Giants shake their heads every time Ramos is brought up. Given the state of the franchise and the farm system, a strong “no” is certainly the right answer.
With Ramos unavailable, the Giants have found little traction with other teams. The offers they have received have been described as wildly unrealistic, and the front office does not want to make a move just for the sake of making a move before the flight home. General manager Bobby Evans is under pressure to find solutions, but he said the front office is united in a desire to not mortgage the future.
“It’s going to cost our system at some level in trades but we’re going to always make sure we keep the cream of the crop in our organization as best we can,” Evans said.