CNN/SI: Boston Wanted Ramirez Back

Ok, not that Ramirez. The other one. Still don't remember? Jon Heyman and Tom Verducci relay this fun rumor:

The Red Sox made a play to re-acquire Marlins superstar Hanley Ramirez  after losing out to the rival Yankees for star free agent Mark Teixeira,
league sources tell But while the Marlins listened to Boston's
overtures, Florida isn't anxious to trade its best player, and talks
apparently have been aborted after no agreement could be reached.

Marlins were said to be most interested in a center fielder, and
discussions apparently centered on Boston's promising youngster Jacoby Ellsbury, talented pitching prospect Clay Buchholz and others in a package for Ramirez, who began in Boston's organization.

I'm telling you. Let bygones be bygones. The Sox want to upgrade their offense. Why else go for a no defense/all-offense star like Hanley and be willing to give up so much talent? There's another guy who fits that description and his price tage is falling. Make it happen. Hug it out.

37 comments… add one
  • You can never go home again, Oatman… but I guess you can shop there.

    attackgerbil December 29, 2008, 11:42 pm
  • Hanley could be a very good CF-er. I’m pretty sure the Marlins are going to move him there eventually.

    AndrewYF December 29, 2008, 11:48 pm
  • Gerbs, you rule with the Grosse Point Blank reference. One of my all-time favorites.

    Hudson December 30, 2008, 12:28 am
  • What a ridiculous non-story that is. The Marlins have a history of trading away star players before they begin earning too much money, the Sox have a need at a position where the Marlins have a star player. I would be extremely disappointed if the Red Sox did not call the Marlins and ask about Ramirez, and as a Marlin fan I would be extremely disappointed if the Marlins did not respond with a request of Lowrie/Ellsbury/Buchholz. I suspect the Sox have had similar discussions at areas of need with every club with a match at that position. The fact that SI plays it up as “news” — with the attendant speculation (maybe he would have played center!) to force it into a context that matches the scoop they’re selling — is discouraging though not surprising.

    Paul SF December 30, 2008, 1:22 am
  • Of course, that said about the actual reporting, sign me up if there’s a way to get the trade done…

    Paul SF December 30, 2008, 1:29 am
  • Wow. That would be some trade. Hanley is going to be perhaps the best player in baseball over the next ten years. The kid is only 24 years old and just put up back-to-back seasons equivalent to Teixeira at his peak AND he’s good for 40 stolen bases a year. Basically, he’s about to become a 40/40 guy at shortstop.
    That last part is especially important. His defense has improved to allow him to stay there. He was an average glove in 2008.
    Now consider his contract:
    # 6 years/$70M (2009-14)
    * signed extension with Florida 5/17/08
    * 09:$5.5M, 10:$7M, 11:$11M, 12:$15M, 13:$15.5M, 14:$16M
    * extension does not include a no-trade clause
    The Marlins are in the driver’s seat until 2011, at least. Wouldn’t you know, Jeter’s contract expires in 2010. ;)

    Rob December 30, 2008, 7:08 am
  • SFs – What if the trade requires Ellsbury, Buchholz, Anderson, Bard, and Bowden? That seems reasonable since none of the former are proven yet.
    Or Lester, Ellsbury, and Anderson?

    Rob December 30, 2008, 7:12 am
  • I’d move all but Lester.
    Seriously, he’s the best player in baseball right now.
    He’s putting up seasons now that most guys don’t put up until they’re in their peak years.
    You make that move every day of the week.

    Brad December 30, 2008, 9:15 am
  • As far as the Yankees go, Hanley would be trade bait in 2011, not a FA, and the Yankees have absolutely *nothing* in their farm system that would entice the Marlins to trade them Ramirez.
    As for the Sox, I’m with Brad. Everyone but Lester is expendable. Frankly, I’ve never understood the Red Sox endless hard on for Jacoby Ellsbury.

    Lou Dyer Jones December 30, 2008, 9:22 am
  • the jeter angle is interesting rob…i was thinking the same thing right before i read your comment…i’d like to make a wise-ass comment about the redsox trying to scoop him up before the yanks do, but i doubt the sox are worried about that…even though the marlins are notorious for holding a fire sale of guys with “larger” contracts, even they know they have a gem here, and i would expect the price to be very steep now…maybe not so much in the later years of the contract, when he’s not such a bargain for the marlins, unless he sustains his current success, which would maintain or even improve his value even at the higher salary…nobody knows what buchholz has left after the no-hitter [i suspect 08 was not a good barometer], but i’m surprised to see sox fans so eager to trade ellsbury, who many projected [including right here] to be the centerfielder for years to come, even if it means landing ramirez…i don’t think his [ells] 08 was as disappointing as some have characterized it…nobody could have in all seriousness expected him to repeat the results [small sample size for sure] from his breakout in 07, when he just seemed to do everything right…but i understand the change in feelings…i feel the same way about a couple of our prospects…i’m not as seduced by the hype now that cold reality has hit me, and they didn’t come close to the success ellsbury has had…i know that there’s no way this happens, except in the ‘tongue in cheek’ world perhaps[see nick’s opening line, for example], but the sox should at least consider bringing back the “other” ramirez, papi’s buddy…nick’s closing line suggests [to me] that at least 2 of us don’t think it’s THAT crazy of an idea…as far as i know, he has no current offers [dodgers withdrew theirs i think], and he might be had for a short contract [one year, team option for year 2]…not sure how they do this, but i’d suggest some clever incentives and language to mitigate the possibility of another manny-meltdown…come on theo, get it done…

    dc December 30, 2008, 9:25 am
  • I’d give ’em Lowrie and Buch or Lowrie and Ells, but I can’t see giving up all three. I know he’s a great hitter, but he’s enough of a defensive liability that he’s not worth selling the whole farm.

    Brownie December 30, 2008, 9:29 am
  • “Seriously, he’s the best player in baseball right now.”
    Albert Pujols disagrees.

    Nick-YF December 30, 2008, 9:31 am
  • Somehow I think a package centered on two of Joba Hughes or Kennedy, plus Jackson and Montero and Betances or Brackman could do the trick.
    And given the Yankees ability to rapidly improve their farm, especially based on pitching prospects and $$$$$, I have little doubt that Hanley in 2011 is very much in play for them.
    Another question: If you SFs had a do-over button, would you trade a ring in 2007 (with Lowell and Beckett) for a dynasty in 2009 through 2014 (with Hanley, Pedroia, Lester, Youkilis – that’s quite a core – maybe Teixeira, and all the pitching about to ripen)?

    Rob December 30, 2008, 9:36 am
  • he’s enough of a defensive liability
    At least based on 2008, this isn’t true.
    Albert Pujols disagrees.
    Who would you rather have going forward? A 24 year old average defensive shortstop with 40/40 offense or a 29 year old above average defensive 1B with 80 XBH power?

    Rob December 30, 2008, 9:43 am
  • True enough. With his contract and age he’s probably a more valuable commodity than anyone in baseball besides Jose Reyes, but Pujols is still a better player right now. His offensive production is on another planet.

    Nick-YF December 30, 2008, 9:45 am
  • SFs – What if the trade requires Ellsbury, Buchholz, Anderson, Bard, and Bowden?
    I would definitely include Josh Bard in a trade for Hanley.

    SF December 30, 2008, 10:20 am
  • Heck, but Hanley is better than Reyes too – certainly offensively and, if you believe RZR and OOZ, defensively too.
    As for the difference between Pujols and Hanley offensively, Pujols is clearly superior, but I’m not sure I’d agree he’s the better player. Stolen bases are very valuable and underrated. And a shortstop like Hanley is much rarer in the history of the game. It’s like asking ten years ago would you rather have A-Rod or one of Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell, or Mark McGwire.
    Of course, at that level, you can’t go wrong either way.

    Rob December 30, 2008, 10:24 am
  • More seriously, I don’t see why it should take five of the top 10 of a team’s (highly regarded, for that matter) farm system to get a player like Ramirez. I understand he is incredibly valuable, but it simply is not worth five cost-controlled potential everyday major leaguers to obtain that value. The Sox would be foolish not to trade potential impact players for a guy like Ramirez. They’d be similarly foolish to eviscerate the top of their farm for same.

    SF December 30, 2008, 10:24 am
  • “More seriously, I don’t see why it should take five of the top 10 of a team’s (highly regarded, for that matter) farm system to get a player like Ramirez. I understand he is incredibly valuable, but it simply is not worth five cost-controlled potential everyday major leaguers to obtain that value.”
    What was the Haren bounty? I feel it was comparable to that, with two Top 20 prospects and three/four other prospects and he is/was less valuable than Hanley.

    Nick-YF December 30, 2008, 10:27 am
  • You’re forgetting too that Hanley is cost “controlled” for the next six years.
    The package would be much higher right now because the Marlins don’t have to trade him. Now or even next season. Their payroll is so ridiculously low ($21 million in 2008) they’re making money from revenue sharing (MLB TV rights, from other teams, etc) without selling one ticket.
    In two or three years, the cost could be more comparable to Haren or Miguel Cabrera.

    Rob December 30, 2008, 10:40 am
  • What was the Haren bounty? I feel it was comparable to that, with two Top 20 prospects and three/four other prospects and he is/was less valuable than Hanley.
    I’d gladly give up two top 20 prospects and a few other throw-ins. That is NOT what Anderson, Bowden, Bard, Buchholz, and Ellsbury are. In 2006 those were #s 1-5 in the Sox system. In 2008 they are listed in BA as their #1, #2, #4, with Buchholz and Ellsbury off the list because of service time. Were they still on the list those five guys would be 1,2,3,4, and 6. That’s a foolish deal to make for almost any organization even considering the return. In other words, if the Sox were my advisee and they said “should we make this deal?” I’d advise them to send out an email blast to every team in baseball (confidentially, of course!) and ask “what will you give us for these five guys in any combination, they are all available”, see what came back over the intertubes, assess all the different options, then decide if trading everyone for Hanley was the best allocation of their resources. I bet it wouldn’t be.

    SF December 30, 2008, 10:51 am
  • You’re forgetting too that Hanley is cost “controlled” for the next six years
    No, I am not.

    SF December 30, 2008, 10:58 am
  • Miguel Cabrera is a better comp. For him (and sure, Willis, though his suck to salary ratio was going to weaken his return regardless) the Marlins got the Tigers’ #1, #2, #6, and #8.
    The complicating factor is that both Cabrera and Willis were going into their walk years. Since Hanley is signed for six more years, I have little doubt the package required, right now, would be much higher.
    I’d trade Joba, Kennedy, Jackson, Montero, and Brackman for Hanley, right now, in a heartbeat. That’s their current #1, #2, and #3 plus last year’s #1 and #4. A player like Hanley is exactly why the Yankees should cultivate a decent farm.

    Rob December 30, 2008, 11:02 am
  • Ok, Nick. Here goes. Haren was traded (with Connor Robertson) for six prospects. They were (with organizational rankings in parentheses, at least according to published reports as I don’t have a BA subscription)
    Carlos Gonzalez (1)
    Brett Anderson (3)
    Dana Eveland
    Greg Smith
    Aaron Cunningham (7)
    Chris Carter
    Three guys were ranked in the top 10, Eveland, Smith, and Carter (who is now with the Sox) were all regarded as good prospects but don’t/didn’t seem to be top 10ers. When Haren was traded he had three years left on his deal for approximately $16M, an absolute bargain. He was subsequently extended by Arizona for not nearly as much of a bargain. Realize that those five guys mentioned on the Sox are three of their top four prospects, one full-time major leaguer with upside, and their most highly regarded pitching prospect. So, like I said, basically five of their top six, even better if you consider that two of the five have already made the majors. The Haren take, while pretty damn strong, doesn’t compare favorably.
    Again, I believe in leveraging a strong farm system. Guys like Hanley are the types of players you do that for. I quibble with the idea that this hypothetical deal is properly and efficiently leveraging that strong farm system.

    SF December 30, 2008, 11:11 am
  • Yeah, the devil is in the details, isn’t it? The Haren deal I was just remembering vaguely. I knew it was a lot, but you’re right about the Sox’s theoretical package being a little rich. In any case, I’d imagine that the Marlins would trey to get bidders in on a Hanley sweepstakes. This isn’t happening for a while.

    Nick-YF December 30, 2008, 11:15 am
  • I’d imagine that the Marlins would trey to get bidders in on a Hanley sweepstakes
    That’s the converse advice to mine for the Sox, and it’s completely sound. Had the Mets made it clear that Kazmir was on the market they could have done much better I think. The Marlins would be pretty dumb to make a deal with the Sox without seeing what Hanley might bring.
    Again, I think the Sox should be willing to give up a boatload of talent for Hanley, it’s just a matter of how big the boat is.

    SF December 30, 2008, 11:19 am
  • There’s also the differences between organizations. For instance, Chris Carter had been #10 on the White Sox list going into 2007. So that makes four ranked guys in the Haren trade.
    Maybin (#6) and Miller (#10) were top ten in all of baseball going into 2007.

    Rob December 30, 2008, 11:25 am
  • it’s just a matter of how big the boat is
    Right, but then that depends on how individuals teams see the value of their prospects and the potential return. In a bidding situation that’s highly variable.
    Would the Yankees do Hughes, Kennedy, Jackson, Montero, and Brackman?
    I think so. I not sure that would be enough, however, and that’s a very big boat. Hanley is a very special player and I bet most teams, many with deeper farms (Angels, Dodgers, Red Sox) would also see that. No matter how highly prospects might be ranked, we’ve seen very clearly that the proof is in the MLB performance.

    Rob December 30, 2008, 11:30 am
  • SF is being stingy. The Marlins have no desire to make this trade anyway, so the Sox would likely have to overpay just to make them take note. Ramirez is at least a year away from being the contractual burden that would make Florida more eager to move him, and the more eager Florida is, the more likely other teams with lesser prospects could swoop in with a deal because of a closer match.
    Ramirez is 24 years old. That’s amazing. He plays what appears now to be a no worse than average (or slightly below average) shrotstop, and he’s an offensive force (OPS+ of 116-145-146 in his age 22-23-24 seasons, good for fourth all time among shortstops, and yes the other three are in or will be in the HOF; his age 23 and 24 seasons are ranked fourth and sixth all time for those ages among shortstops, behind Arky Vaughan and A-Rod, ahead of Ripken and Ernie Banks). On top of that, a deal gives the Sox several years to work out a lengthy extension that could keep him in Boston for 10 years or more.
    For that, I trade Buchholz and Ellsbury without a second thought, then I try to get Florida away from Anderson, but if I have to, I add him as well because finding a good bat at first/DH will be infinitely easier than finding another bat like Ramirez’s at shortstop. Three prospects wouldn’t be enough, so the Sox would have to throw probably two more into the mix, at least one of which I’d envision as the extremely young/high upside type like the Sox sent for Gagne and the other maybe in the middle range.
    I agree we shouldn’t “eviscerate” the farm system, but Ramirez because of his age and production is on a track for his career that is very rare — it was unexpected when he did it; how much can we really expect a Buchholz, Ellsbury or Anderson to provide equivalent production — even combined?
    Of course, as I said earlier, I don’t believe this was anything more than kicking the tires. It is fun to speculate though.

    Paul SF December 30, 2008, 12:30 pm
  • Theo: Hey man… what would it take to get Hanley Ramirez back to Boston.
    Florida GM: We can start with Ellsbury and Buchholz and then discuss another three or four players to add in.
    Theo: Man are you nuts… I told Minnesota to screw themselves when they wanted those two for Johan Santana.
    Florida GM: Like I said we can start with Ellsbury and Buchholz… I hear that Lars kid is good, why dont we toss him in as the third guy…. now lets see who else do you have….
    Theo: Lars? Are you &%^$((% kidding me?
    Florida GM: I’m going to need a new SS too, how about you also give me that Jed kid.
    Theo: You want my assistant GM tooo??
    Florida GM: The other Jed you bozo… you know Lowrie…. also we will need another pitcher… how about Jon Lester?
    Theo: Am I being punk’d? You want Ellsbury, Lester, Buchholz, Lowrie and Lars? Do I look like Brian Cashman?
    Florida GM: Hey they might still be looking for a CF… JANINE, GET CASHMAN ON THE PHONE FOR ME!
    Theo: NOOOOO WAIT! lets keep talking, no need to get Cashman involved.
    Florida GM: Look Theo, theres nothing else to talk about, if you aren’t willing to deal all the players we already dicussed theres no need to keep talking about the rest of the players.
    Theo: DISCUSSED? We havent discussed crap. So far you are making crazy demands and you still want more? Who the hell do you think this player is???
    Florida GM: I gotta go, Brians on the other line.
    Theo: Ok heres my final offer…. Jed Lowrie, Daniel Bard and Julio Lugo for Hanley.
    Florida GM: Click.

    TJ Sox Fan December 30, 2008, 12:53 pm
  • @ Paul
    I agree completely. There’s just so much going for the Marlins that even if Hanley is traded in two years (and continues to improve on both sides of the ball), the package is likely to be astounding (2-3 top ten prospects and another 2-3 top 20 guys).
    To review what the Marlins have going for them:
    1. An offensive force at shortstop, the likes of which have been seen only once in baseball history (A-Rod).
    2. He’s signed for six more years at very manageable salaries.
    3. Any team in baseball, even the Marlins themselves, could afford him on that contract given the value he brings.
    If an when the Marlins decide to trade him, the package they get back will be huge. And rightly so.
    For the Yankees, Hanley is exactly the guy that could force Jeter from shortstop. Unless Joba starts winning Cy Youngs, there is no youngster in the organization who should be untouchable for him.

    Rob December 30, 2008, 1:10 pm
  • SF is being stingy.
    Huh? Based on what you wrote and what I wrote, we are saying almost the exact same thing, don’t include Anderson if you don’t have to, but most everyone else is fair game in some combination, and if not the top five then perhaps three of them and a couple of other lower-tier promising players. You are really splitting hairs here.
    It seems like we are almost all in agreement: this is a pipe dream, but if it approaches reality you leverage your smartly-built farm to make a deal.
    In other news, the Sox called St. Louis and asked about Pujols. Or, at least I say they did. Where’s the thread about what it would take to get Albert? ;-)

    SF December 30, 2008, 1:22 pm
  • Masarotti:
    If the Hanley Ramirez talks told us anything, it is that the Sox do have serious questions about Jed Lowrie’s ability to play shortstop every day, at least for a big-market, high-salaried team in the ironclad American League East. (Lowrie would make one heck of a utility man, however, and the Sox believe he could also handle first base in spot duty.)
    In the end, the bottom line here is this: Don’t underestimate the impact of the Teixeira loss in the minds of Sox officials. The Hanley Ramirez exploration proves it.

    Really? Calling a small-market team about their superstar player when said small-market team has a history of trading their marquee talent is proof that the Teixeira miss has had a big impact on the front office? It’s proof that they have “questions” about Jed Lowrie? This is gibberish. What Theo did is what any competent GM should be doing and what they probably do more often than we know, which is put out feelers about young talent on teams that may (or may not) trade said talent. And maybe their “questions” about Lowrie aren’t questions, but answers, as in “the answer to the question ‘is Lowrie nearly as good as Hanley’ is ‘NO’. In fact, if they traded Ellsbury it would imply that they would be moving HANLEY TO CENTER and playing Lowrie full-time at SS, since Ramirez has been spoken about as a future CF.
    Better question: why do I read this stuff!?

    SF December 30, 2008, 2:13 pm
  • Massarotti is completely unreadable. He was nearly there with the Herald, and has totally jumped the shark since he’s been forced to write gobs of text every day for both the print and online versions of the Globe.
    I’d rather read Shaughnessy, who can at least turn a phrase and seems to know when he’s being a despicable toolbag, than Mazz.

    Paul SF December 30, 2008, 2:30 pm
  • Also, I love the dozens of comments ripping him for his failure to understand that the Yankees were always going to end up with Teixeira, unless the Sox were willing to bid far, far more than the $180m the Yanks got him for.

    Paul SF December 30, 2008, 2:37 pm
  • “A player like Hanley is exactly why the Yankees should cultivate a decent farm.”
    Do you mean so that they would have the necessary pieces to trade for a HanRam, or so they can find and develop a HanRam?
    I’m assuming you mean trade for one, because finding them is a complete and total crap shoot.
    I would give up a lot for a special player like Hanley right now.
    I’m also sad about the lack of effort the RS FO has put in to this off season so far, so I’m not the right person to ask right now.

    LocklandSF December 30, 2008, 6:33 pm
  • Do you mean so that they would have the necessary pieces to trade for a HanRam, or so they can find and develop a HanRam?
    Yeah, I meant trade for one.
    You guys hammer Massarotti, but reading that post I think it’s actually a pretty good take based on the pitching and defense angle. Sure he went silly with the Lowrie analysis, but what sportswriter doesn’t make those faulty comparisons? Abraham was calling his readers stupid for thinking they’d sign Teixeira or Manny.
    As for Massarotti’s take, I think he’s right. Pitching and defense (and speed) is a clear strength and the Sox can compete with anyone on all. I can certainly see them winning close games with the Yankees and Rays by scratching across some runs and holding the other team down. And Massarotti is at least partially right – Lowrie’s defense, relative to his bat, is probably the biggest question your team faces apart from the catcher slot. At least in CF no one is going to question Ellsbury’s defense.

    Rob December 31, 2008, 11:07 am

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