Ken Rosenthal, You’re Wrong about Hanley Ramirez


I would like to start this article off by saying, I respect the hell out of Ken Rosenthal. When I list reliable sources for any trade rumors, Ken is always at the top of my list. I really like to read his stuff, and heck, he has influenced my writing here on MarlinManiac in the past.

However, this past week, Rosenthal made a post about how the “Miami Marlins might do well to trade Hanley Ramirez.” Yes, Ramirez has dominated the Marlins headlines lately. This past week, Buster Olney reported that the Marlins were listening to offers on the “disgruntled” superstar. Joe Frisaro was quick to dispell those rumors.

I am not taking a shot at Rosenthal about the Marlins trading Ramirez because he is unhappy. I have a real issue with some of the proposed trades that Rosenthal has come up with. The Marlins are better off keeping a disgruntled Ramirez and suspending him if he does not give in to what the team needs him to do. There is no way the Marlins should give any leverage or power to Ramirez if that is the case come Spring Training. With his down season and the fact that he is coming off of shoulder surgery, the Marlins would be wise to hold onto Ramirez, as his value has never been lower. With his trade value lowered, the Marlins would not be able to receive fair compensation that would make up for the loss of Ramirez. To his credit, Rosenthal does mention that in his post:

"No, this is a player who occasionally flashes a selfish, petulant side — and frankly cannot be trusted to graciously make way for Reyes, his fellow Dominican.Ramirez’s trade value is lower than it once was because of his shoulder, his sub-par performance last season and the $46.5 million remaining on the final three years of his contract. Some teams also believe that he is not a winning player.But c’mon, he’s Hanley Ramirez."

So then I ask, does trading the Marlins most important player to their success make sense?

Quite frankly, I do not see how it does.

I would like to get into the trade ideas he did propose and see if any of them actually do make any sense for the Marlins. As you are reading this, keep in mind this little line that Rosenthal mentioned in his article.

"Trading Ramirez is the Marlins’ logical next move, one that could make the team even stronger."

Boston Red Sox

"The Sox need two starting pitchers and a closer far more than a shortstop, but surely they would be tempted to reacquire Ramirez. Shortstop Marco Scutaro is eminently available, but the Marlins’ goal in any Ramirez trade would be to acquire a big bat and a starting pitcher.Third baseman Kevin Youkilis could be the bat. The pitcher? Not so clear."

Kevin Youkilis is a solid player. I am not taking anything away from him, but if you look at what he brings to the Marlins, it does not make much sense. Youkilis is 32 years old, four years older than Ramirez. Beyond that, the Marlins would seek a minimum of two or three top prospects in return in such a deal. After last seasons Adrian Gonzalez trade, the Sox do not have a ton to offer the Marlins. With the Red Sox need of starting pitching very high, I do not see the Marlins and Red Sox matching up well, at all.

Detroit Tigers

"[Victor Martinez] and manager Jim Leyland would be good for Ramirez (just as David Ortiz would be in Boston). The two teams might find it difficult to match up, but the Tigers have expressed a willingness to move prized right-hander Jacob Turner in the right deal, sources say."

Jacob Turner is a name that really intrigues me. He would be a good fit on the Marlins and could provide instant help to the Marlins rotation. The Marlins, of course, would see more then just Turner.

However, I want all Marlins fans to just picture this, the Detroit Tigers win multiple World Series led by Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez. How does that work out for the Fish? Well, let just say that we have a Andrew Miller/Cameron Maybin type of production. Do you think that is something that Marlins fans will ever let management live down? HELL NO! The last thing Marlins fans want to see, with their team finally headed in the right direction, is the Marlins doing what set their franchise back in the first place, trading Miguel Cabrera to the Tigers.

Los Angeles Angels

"The Angels probably don’t want to trade right-hander Ervin Santana; the addition of free-agent left-hander C.J. Wilson gives them a powerhouse front four. But a combination of Santana and one of the Angels’ starting infielders surely would entice the Marlins. Second baseman Howie Kendrick would be ideal from the Marlins’ perspective, but probably not the Angels’."

Michael Jong on Fishstripes did a great job on explaining why Ervin Santana is not a center piece to any Hanley Ramirez trade using sabermetrics. Since he covered that well, I am going to explain why it makes no sense for the Marlins marketing wise.

The Marlins were the big boys at the Winter Meeting all week. Then, on the last day, the Los Angeles Angels came into the picure and stole the show. The Angels signed Albert Pujols to a mega 10-year $254 million contract. The Angels then proceeded to sign away a Marlins free agent target, C.J. Wilson. The Marlins had an excellent off season thus far, but the Angels stole the Marlins thunder. Now if the Marlins were to deal Hanley to the Angels, they would just be adding more ammo to the Angels off season and taking away from theirs. Tell me, how much sense does that make?

Washington Nationals

"The Nationals are deep in young pitching, and they surely would include shortstop Ian Desmond or maybe even second baseman Danny Espinosa in a deal for Ramirez."

Remember that the Washington Nationals are a rising young team, which also shares the same division as the Marlins. Here is what Ken Rosenthal had to say about the possibility of the Nationals acquiring Ramirez:

"Think about a team built around Ramirez, right-hander Stephen Strasburg, right fielder Bryce Harper and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, none of whom is older than 28."

This would be a genius idea for the Marlins right? Get weaker and also help a division foe become a force.

I am pretty sure that you have heard by now that the Oakland Atheltics are asking for Mike Stanton in return for Gio Gonzalez. The Marlins are being smart and not even considering that. You can not blame the Athletics for trying though, right? Consider this though, Mike Stanton is establishing himself as a star in this league. Gio Gonzalez, while he is a good pitcher, is nothing out of this world. Hanley Ramirez should be able to garner more talent for the Marlins.

So any package the Marlins get from the Nationals should include either Strasburg or Harper, or the Marlins should hang up the phone right away.

Yes, yes, the Marlins have a history of trading player in their division. Remember this though, none of those players were the caliber of Hanley Ramirez.

San Francisco Giants

"Brandon Crawford, a .204 hitter after 196 major-league at-bats, is projected to be the Giants’ shortstop. Start a package with right-hander Ryan Vogelsong and include one of the young first basemen, Brandon Belt or Brett Pill. The Marlins could trade Gaby Sanchez or play him at third."

Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt are two names that should intrigue the Marlins. They are not however enough to land Hanley from the Fish. Ryan Vogelson is a 35 year old pitcher that has had minimal major league success. Not to mention that his home/away splits look terrible. The Marlins already have Gaby Sanchez at first and Logan Morrison out of position in left, so the need for another first basemen is not something that is logical for the Marlins. Unless the Giants offer the Marlins Tim Lincecum or a package built around Matt Cain, the Marlins will most definitely pass.

Seattle Mariners

"Ramirez and [Prince Fielder] would form a young, potent middle of the order. To get Ramirez, the Mariners would need to break up their impressive stable of young arms, maybe even include righty Michael Pineda."

The Mariners are in the same boat as the Giants. Pineda would be an excellent starting point, much like Belt or Jacob Turner. That is however the most the Mariners can offer the Marlins. Unless they offer the Marlins a Felix Hernandez for Hanley Ramirez swap.

Remember the statement that I told you to keep in mind as you read this article?

"Trading Ramirez is the Marlins’ logical next move, one that could make the team even stronger."

Answer me honestly, do any of these trades actually make the Marlins a better team?

Now, there are plenty of teams that can dip into their organizational systems and offer the Marlins a ton. The truth though remains, the Marlins are a better team with Hanley Ramirez on the roster. There is not one player in baseball right now that can bring what Hanley Ramirez can bring when he is 100% healthy and motivated. That might be a lot for the Marlins to count on in 2012, but it is a surer bet than anything they can receive in a trade for Ramirez.

You have to start the season with Ramirez at third base. If at the trade deadline he is still unhappy with his role, the Marlins then could try to move him to acquire more pieces to improve the team. At that point, it much more likely that his value is a lot higher than the chance of his value dropping.

The Marlins have taken on a major risk this off season with their major free agent signings of Heath Bell, Jose Reyes, and Mark Buehrle. Perhaps the biggest risk they may take this off season is that of their superstar player. It is a risk that I am willing to bet will turn out the best for both parties.