Does Hanley Ramirez to the Yankees make sense?


Hanley Ramirez has to be wondering if he's part of the Florida/Miami Marlins' future. (AP/Paul Beaty)

As much as it pains me to think of Hanley Ramirez in the arms of another team, I can’t stop thinking that he would be more productive in a different city. It’s that I-can’t-believe-she-broke-up-with-me-punch-in-the-stomach feeling. I know it’s probably for the best, and that Hanley will be happier and more productive wearing a different uniform. He’ll probably lose some weight and also do all the charming things Marlins fans found so endearing in the beginning of our relationship, like hustling, getting clutch hits, stealing bases and, most importantly, keeping his mouth shut. Hanley, you had us at Rookie of the Year.

Like all relationships, you have to assess the pros and cons in order to determine long-term viability, and the positives should clearly outweigh the negatives. Right now, I’m not seeing an abundance of positives with Hanley simply because he doesn’t fit in Florida any more. When he burst onto the scene with his ROY performance in 2006, it was game on. Florida fans loved him and thought they had a long-term superstar in their midst. But a funny thing happened on the way to a miserable 2011: More and more, Hanley was forced to become the go-to leadership guy, a role he has proven over the last few seasons that he is not comfortable in.

Now, it’s anybody’s guess as to whose team this is. Logan Morrison’s? Mike Stanton’s? Gaby Sanchez’? Each is a little green to be considered an on-field leader, yet all three could one day take on that mantle and, hopefully, lead the Fish to World Series nirvana. But leadership is earned vs. being handed out like a new box of batting gloves. And right now, the Marlins don’t have an on-field leader. Based on his past, Ramirez is much better suited being second fiddle or third banana on a team vs. the spotlight guy. It’s just not his thing, and Marlins management and fans alike have thrust this mightily talented player into a position he’s just not very good at – being the guy.

The monumental challenge facing Florida management, though, would be finding a taker for Ramirez and his escalating salary, which doesn’t match what appears, at least for this season, to be declining performance. The best fit for Ramirez would be with a team that can afford his salary and one where he would feel no pressure.

A perfect fit for Hanley, not that it’s going to happen, is the New York Yankees. Sure it’s in the cauldron of media pressure, but surrounded by so much talent, Hanley would be under less pressure in the Big Apple than he is in the Big Swelter. Going to New York may not be feasible at this point due to captain Derek Jeter currently occupying the position, but Hanley wouldn’t be a Fish out of water with all the egos up north – in fact, he’d fit right in. Heck, he may find it humbling to be surrounded by so much talent that he’d actually work harder. In Florida, he doesn’t have to do much with his supreme talent – he can even be lazy – and he’s still the best player talent-wise. In New York, he couldn’t just show up and be the superstar.

I tweeted Buster Olney recently about the prospect of moving Hanley by the trade deadline and the response was simple: “The more appropriate question on Hanley Ramirez: Would anyone give up anything decent for him, given money owed and poor year?”

So what does management do with a player who is owed $11 million this season and another $46 million over the next three seasons if no one is interested in taking on that salary or trading top prospects in return? Owner Jeffrey Loria has only one possible play and that’s to eat a portion of Hanley’s salary in order to move him – something fans in Florida know is as likely to happen as the Cubs winning the World Series. Just ain’t gonna happen.

So what does it all mean? Hanley and his ways will most likely stay put and continue to rack up mediocre numbers until his contract is up. The best possible scenario for the Marlins would be to see Ramirez go on a hitting rampage over the next two months to improve his marketability heading into the offseason. The Marlins would be best served in the offseason by signing a stud pitcher and outfield bat and acquiring a serviceable shortstop. With Josh Johnson’s season in doubt – and career, for that matter given the pattern of injuries – the Fish would be wise to find a suitable complement/replacement for Johnson, just in case.

With that in mind, Hanley has a better chance to put his stamp on the Marlins future if he is traded vs. anything he could do on the field. Next season is a significant one for the Marlins heading into the new ballpark. Having a solid pitching staff will be more important to the long-term success of the franchise than having a former and fading All-Star at shortstop.

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  1. My main point is that is only the case if shills like you are allowed to heap all of this crap and lay the groundwork for an exit. Keep perpetuating baseless nonsense created by my favorite marlin ever and apparent fellow idiot Jeff Conine. Hanley will be gone replaced at .50 on the dollar and that new palace that the taxpayers built the squad will be just as empty as Joe Robbie is now. Miami does not tolerate losers, must be why you moved to Seattle.

    Against my better judgement, give me a scenario in which trading Hanley improves this or any team, ever, in the whole history of baseball. If you add Hanley to the Giants they still win the WS last year, not because they have great chemistry, but because playoff baseball is dictated by pitching and the West is a shit division.

    I don’t live in a world of stats, in fact there are only about 4 advanced metrics I really buy into: BABIP, FIP, ISO, WAR and that is about the list. I think most stats are useless, I have spent much time and energy finding the ones that seem to me to best correlate to what I am seeing on the field. I believe in them and over the last five years they have proven me right many more time then they have proven me wrong.

    Oh and just so you know that I am not all out of shape over this hack nonsense you call journalism without any basis, I have a Pacemaker award (If you would like I can send the link which takes you to the winners page) from my time as editor on my college paper, how many national journalism awards sit on your desk? You are an example of what is wrong with journalism and are hurting a club you supposedly like, I hope at least this site pays you well, but I doubt it looking at your hit count. Of which I am about 25 at this point, arguing with you in the vain hope that people read this part and see that you have no clue what it is you are talking about and they have no good reason to believe you as credible. Because you are not reporting news here, you are trying to make it and that is not your job.

  2. Stats are nice, Rob, and you clearly live in a world of stats. But individual stats alone don’t always translate into team success — just ask Giants fans. Last time I checked, the Giants didn’t have any potent bats in their lineup last year, but they did have the best pitching staff heading into the playoffs and great team chemistry. Things like clubhouse chemistry driven by team attitude and egoless players have just as much to do with success as diving into myriad statistics. And whether you like it or not — no matter how much of a Florida fan you are — the fact is the Marlins are open to moving Hanley, whether it’s now or in the offseason, if it ultimately helps the team. If you’re a Marlins fan, you know that has always been a mantra of the Loria era.

  3. Same geniuses who declared Berkman done? Mike Lowell was washed up too, right? I have done plenty of digging, a good deal more than you I would venture. You do not address any of my points, instead you hide behind phantom scouts and “experts”. Any of these people would drop there two best prospects and pick up the tab if they thought they could actually get Hanley. There is no package on the planet that matches up, you cannot take two positions worth of WAR and say that makes up for the loss of one player who accounts for the same production, especially out of a position that is as weak as SS. HanRam is worth Roy Halladay or Albert Pujols not some collection of potential. One half of a season of under-performing is no reason to trade a guy who has a career WAR over 31 in just 5.5 seasons. That is an average of about 6 WAR, 6!!! Do you have idea how amazingly good that is, let me help, Prince Fielder about a 3.3 career average WAR. David Ortiz, his best year ever is a 6.3 WAR. Tulowitzki last year a 6.6 which, unless he catches absolute fire he will not get close to this year.

    Let me put it like this, even this year at his current pace Hanley will recoup a WAR around 3, which if you do a little math, okay a lot of math, you will find is valued at about 7.5 million in payroll. Did he have a down year, sure, do you trade a future HOF player on the back of an injury riddled half of baseball.

    Oh, last thing anybody who produces more than one season of a 7+ WAR is not dealing in potential, they are dealing in MVP’s. Back to my original point, if you are actually a Marlins fan than you are a shitty one, you are perpetuating an idea that will cripple the club in a manner that cannot be overcome by entering a new stadium.

  4. Rob,

    We appreciate all opinions, especially ones from passionate fans. Articles this time of year are written for the sole purpose of getting responses and I’m glad you helped me accomplish my goal. My only comment is that potential or past success is no guarantee for future success. If you do a little digging about what scouts and other baseball “experts” are saying, they aren’t painting as pretty a picture as you do about Ramirez’ arc. I love his potential, too, but his work ethic and ego are not the best fit for a young team. All the talent in the world, but the question is have we already seen the best of Hanley Ramirez? I hope not.

  5. You are an idiot. Seriously, thinking this or touting it or considering it or imagining it or what ever the hell it is you are doing is idiotic. Especially if you are a fan of the Marlins. I guess you might be right trading one of three players in all of MLB under 27 with a HOF career arc heading into his prime with what is in reality a very cheap contrac,t even for a guy with 4.0 WAR, much less the 7.0 he is more likely to put up. That potential 7.0 war is worth about 25 mil a year, you know because only Hanley, Pujlos, and very few other are even capable of doing it once in there careers not the three times Hanley has already done it. Back to my original point, you are an idiot.

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