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Marlins better off flirting with Jose Reyes than signing him

Nov 11, 2011, 1:22 PM EDT

Jose Reyes Getty Images

Trying to motivate Hanley Ramirez by talking to a shortstop who could supplant him in Miami… that’s a great idea.

Actually signing said injury-prone shortstop to a contract worth in excess of $20 million per year… that might not work out so well.

Jose Reyes would certainly help the Marlins, just like he’d help every team in baseball, but he doesn’t seem like the best use of resources for this winter’s nouveau riche Miami club.

A Reyes signing would force the Marlins to move their incumbent superstar to either center field or third base. Now, that could work out. I was strongly in favor of moving him to center a few years ago, and while Ramirez is a better shortstop now than when he entered the league, he’s never going to be a big asset there. Regardless of whether the Marlins land Reyes or not, Ramirez, who turns 28 in December, figures to require a move by age 31 or 32.

But Ramirez doesn’t want to move. And while the three-time All-Star could use a kick in the rear, the Marlins can’t have him sulking his way through another season. That would almost certainly lead to a trade, with the Marlins getting back only a fraction of what he’s worth.

I can certainly see the Marlins’ attraction here. A lineup with Reyes leading off, Ramirez batting third and future home run champ Mike Stanton in the cleanup spot has the potential to be among the game’s best.

But it also might not gel at any point. Hanley will complain and potentially dog it. Reyes will get hurt. The outfield could be dreadful defensively (putting Ramirez at third base and Emilio Bonifacio in center field is another alternative that might lead of a better defense in the short-term, though I think Hanley is a better fit in center for the long haul).

The upside is enticing, but the Marlins really should pass on Reyes. Now, Albert Pujols… that’s an entirely different matter.

  1. jpyanes - Nov 11, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    If the Marlins do indeed plan on doubling they’re payroll from $60 mill to $120 million, which is the word on the street, the Fish would have enough money to sign Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle, Yoennsi Cepedes, AND either Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder. Now that’s what I call catching the Big Fish! Haha, get it?

  2. jpyanes - Nov 11, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    The Yankees of the south?

    • yankeesfanlen - Nov 11, 2011 at 2:15 PM

      I beg your pardon?

      • Old Gator - Nov 11, 2011 at 6:50 PM

        Don’t beg. It will cost you respect.

  3. shrimpking55 - Nov 11, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    Don’t see the Marlins jumping that high and making that big of a splash. I think they will reel in the Cuban OF, Cespedes and some pitching. The Reyes move will definitely fill the seats but will require a big BANK. Just don’t know if the Marlins will spend that. However, if they do – I have been objected on this but I think the Marlins can have one of the best line-up in MLB.

  4. drmonkeyarmy - Nov 11, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    Way off topic, but Jim Salisbury is reporting that the Phillies have signed Papelbon pending physical.

  5. Kyle - Nov 11, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Can’t say I agree. I see Hanley as destined for third base Reyes or no. Of course, the money would have to make sense, but Reyes at SS, plus another year of development our of LoMo and Stanton could get the Fish into contending right quick. I guess if Hanley’s feelings are legitimately that fragile, then he’s a lost cause and he should just be traded already.

    • Old Gator - Nov 11, 2011 at 6:53 PM

      Tweeter is as good as he’s going to get. He’s a lousy situational hitter. If the Feesh can move him for a real third baseman or their usual boxload of EYPs, they should do it.

      I’m tired of reminding everyone what a disaster Hanley would be at third base. He can’t throw accurately to first from shortstop to begin with. Adding distance won’t help. Center field would be fine for him – the cutoff man can move around and catch his throws the way a first baseman can’t.

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