Skip to content

Marlins’ deal for Jose Reyes puts Hanley Ramirez in the spotlight

Dec 4, 2011, 8:17 PM EDT

Hanley Ramirez Getty Images

Hanley Ramirez likes Jose Reyes just fine, but he’s made it clear that he sees himself as a shortstop. With the Marlins now reportedly having landed Reyes, Ramirez is going to be asked to change positions, probably to third base. How that plays with Hanley could well determine the course of the Marlins franchise for these next few years.

Make no mistake: Ramirez is an even more dynamic player than Reyes. He finished sixth in the NL in OPS in both 2008 and 2009. Reyes has never finished in the top 10. Adjusting for position, he placed second in the NL in offensive WAR in 2008 and ’09 and third in 2007. Reyes came in third last season, but his next highest finish with ninth in 2006. Overall, Ramirez is a career .306/.380/.506 hitter. Reyes, the older of the two players by a few months, comes in at .292/.341/.441.

Ramirez, though, has fallen far these last two years, and while Reyes has long battled leg injuries, Ramirez has struggled to overcome shoulder problems. After playing in at least 150 games each of his first four seasons, Ramirez dropped to 142 games in 2010 and 92 games during his extremely disappointing 2011 season.

If Ramirez goes to third base quietly and resumes playing more like he did three years ago, the Marlins will suddenly have one of the league’s most potent lineups:

SS Reyes
CF Emilio Bonifacio
3B Ramirez
RF Mike Stanton
1B Gaby Sanchez
LF Logan Morrison
C John Buck
2B Omar Infante

If Ramirez instead sulks and forces his way out, the Marlins aren’t likely to get nearly the return he would have brought as one of the game’s three most valuable properties in 2009. Oh, there will be offers: the Red Sox and Tigers would be crazy not to bid and the Brewers could try to cobble together an offer from what’s left of their minor league system. But the Marlins have a much better chance of finding their way back to the postseason with Ramirez and Reyes together than with Reyes and whatever Ramirez brings in return. Hopefully for them, Ramirez grows up a little, embraces the Marlins’ new commitment to winning and tries to become the best third baseman he can be. If it goes the other way, then the team isn’t likely to contend just yet.

  1. thejotapee - Dec 4, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    And if they add Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols too:

    1- Jose Reyes
    2- Chris Coghlan/Emilio Bonerfacio
    3- Hanley Ramirez
    4- Fielder/Pujols
    5- Michael Stanton
    6- Logan Morrison
    7- John Buck
    8- Omar Infante

    Best 1-6 in baseball

  2. siouxyaya17 - Dec 4, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    That’s a lot of money for a guy who can’t stay on the field, bad signing in my opinion.

    • Old Gator - Dec 4, 2011 at 11:43 PM

      Nah, it’s a good signing if Reyes stays healthy and if Hanley (a) returns to his 2009 and prior form, which is by no means certain, and (b) doesn’t schmuck out. On the other hand, the idea of Hanley playing third base is horrible. Scrooge McLoria seems to think that ballplayers are like paintings that can be moved from one wall to another every time you redecorate a room. The Hanster has never been more than an average shortstop – to be generous – and couldn’t be depended upon to throw accurately to first; adding another forty feet or so to his throwing duties is not going to improve his accuracy one iota. And it perpetuates one of the Feesh’s most self-immolating bad habits: converting players to third basemen who have little or no business playing the position just to keep their bats in the lineup. Right handed pull hitters are going to have a field day with the Hanster parked down the line.

      I would have much preferred seeing the Feesh grab Aramis Ramirez for third until either Matt Dominguez proves he can hit major league pitching or they could work a trade or signing for some other established third baseman. Unless the Feesh want to move Hanley to center field, which seems like a much better place to put him than third base, it’s hard to see a future for Dominguez there.

      • 5thbase - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:10 PM

        Gator, usually you know what you’re talking about.

        #1 Of course it’s a good signing IF all your IF’s come true. It IS a bad signing because none of your IF’s will happen.

        #2 You should know that the longest infield throws are from short, not third. That doesn’t mean every throw from short is longer than every throw from third, but the longest throws are invariably from short. Adding 40 feet to the throw from short in going to third would only be possible is the shortstop position was played standing on second base or if the third base position was played in the left field grass.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Angels' 2011 overhaul finally paying off?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3333)
  2. G. Stanton (2595)
  3. A. Rizzo (2356)
  4. J. Hamilton (2130)
  5. H. Ryu (2115)
  1. N. Arenado (2087)
  2. M. Trout (2081)
  3. E. Gattis (1948)
  4. D. Ortiz (1868)
  5. A. Pujols (1820)