ESPN’s Buster Olney informs us that, hours after claiming that the Miami Marlins had the best shortstop and third base combination in baseball, the team will now look to move Hanley Ramirez following a request from his agent that the player’s contract be restructured.
Hanley Ramirez is available.
Update: Or maybe not.
Shortly after the Jose Reyes signing was made public, we learned of Ramirez’s dissatisfaction, but I think most of us assumed that it was the type of dissatisfaction that would be quelled by little bit of the famous attention that the organization used to court Reyes.
The question now becomes what the asking price would be for a disgruntled, poor fielding shortstop, who refuses to change position, and is owed $46.5 million over the next three years.
On the surface, it’s Hanley Ramirez. He’s only 27 years old and has been the best shortstop in baseball since 2006. However, he’s coming off a terrible season, which followed a rather mediocre one (by his standards) in 2010. His batting line over the last two years looks like this: .278 AVG/.361 OBP/.438 SLG.
The Marlins’ proposed switch to third base wasn’t just the result of the Jose Reyes signing, it’s sort of what happens when you cost your team fifteen runs in less than 2,000 innings at a position to which you’re clearly ill suited.
Ramirez as a shortstop, determined to play there, is of far lesser value, even with the consideration of positional adjustments, than Ramirez as a body willing to play anywhere.