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Hanley: "I'm the shortstop right now"

       

            Hanley Ramirez says he would welcome having Jose Reyes as a teammate.

            But Ramirez wouldn’t say whether he’d welcome a position switch to third base if the Marlins signed the free agent shortstop.

            “I’m the shortstop right now and I consider myself a shortstop,” Ramirez said at a fundraiser on Thursday outside the team’s new ballpark.

            The Marlins met with Reyes in New York last week and again on Wednesday, but have not yet spoken to Ramirez about possibly moving to third if they end up signing Reyes.

            “I think he’s a really good player,” Ramirez said of Reyes, whom he also considers a friend. “Everybody knows that. This organization needs him. It’s good when you see the front office put the best team they can on the field.”

            But, despite being asked repeatedly about his thoughts on moving to third, Ramirez stuck to his position that, as of now, he considers himself to be the team’s shortstop.

            “My whole life I’ve been a shortstop,” he said. “I’m a shortstop.”

            Marlins president David Samson said “we’ll jump off that bridge when we get to it” when asked if Ramirez would move to third if Reyes is signed.

            “Hanley is the face of our franchise,” Samson said. “He is our superstar. I’d leave it at that. No matter who we sign, Hanley is always the person for me who is the most important person on our team.”

            Ramirez said he is ahead of schedule in his recovery from September surgery on his left shoulder and expects to be ready for spring training.

            Reyes isn’t the only player the Marlins are courting. They had free agent pitcher Mark Buerhle in for a visit on Tuesday and were in the Dominican Republic on Thursday to look at Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

            “A lot of us took a long look at Mr. Cespedes,” Samson said of the 26-year-old outfielder. “We were with him for quite a few hours. We had our top scouts there. We had our top baseball people there. They were certainly impressed with his ability.”

            Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was also on the scouting trip.

            The Marlins are among many teams interested in Cespedes, who is expected to receive free agent status soon. But Samson said he think the Marlins offer advantages to Cespedes other teams can’t match.

“We think we’re a great fit because we’re Miami and we are a natural destination for any Cuban player, any Latin American player,” Samson said. “We are the gateway to the Americas. We are the Miami Marlins, and I think that he agrees. But we have to see if we can make a deal that makes sense for both parties."

Comments

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laurelbowie

Uh, oh! I see storm clouds on the horizon and I'm starting to agree with those who've said there is no room on this team for both Hanley and Reyes. From the way he's talking now, you just know Hanley is going to pout big-time if asked to change positions. (Kinda like my wife.)

bob

"We'll jump off that bridge when we come to it."

You have that right, Mr. Samson!

"Hanley is always the person for me who is the most important person on the team."

I wonder what everyone else thinks about it. Most of the team works harder than Hanley and half the team produced more than he did last year and even the year before that.

laurelbowie

Bob,
You're right — that was a dumb thing to say. It was a desperate attempt to appeal to Hanley's giant ego and keep him from jumping the tracks. It was also a slap in the face to everyone else on the team.

Stan M

Doesn't this help to add credence to the idea that if Reyes comes, then Hanley goes. Marlin fans, think back to the team's high point last year. It was about at the end of May. And what had Hanley's contribution been? I'll leave it to the stat heads to find the exact figures, but he had been awful by any standard. For two solid months the team did just fine with Hanley putting up numbers that almost any replacement could have produced...and with better defense I might add.

Stan M

Is it only a rumor that Marlin fans are meeting all over the state to collect funds so that Hanley and Buck can enjoy a little relaxation on a fact finding trip to Venezuela?

laurelbowie

Nah, don't send Hanley to Venezuela. Despite his antics, his injuries and his shrinking numbers of late, he still has a rep as one of the premier players in the league, and the Fish should be able to get a super pitcher and a couple nice prospects for him. There will be Marlins fans out there who doubt that, but those who haven't lived with Hanley's ups and downs and constant mood swings on a daily basis have a lot better opinion of him than those of us who have.

Flav C

I hate to say it but: I told you! The truth is that Hanley is a great player, lazy athlete. If the Fish brings some of those big ticket players, there will be a lot more scrutiny from the fans and the media towards the Marlins. Players like Pujols, Reyes, are used to it. They can handle it. Not Hanley. That's why i pointed out yesterday that the minute that Reyes is signed, Hanely becomes expendable. And from a business perspective, it makes a lot of sense to trade him by the end of '12. It will free up a lot of salary money from the remainder of his contract in '13 and '14 ($15.5 mil in 2013 and $16mil in 2014). Enough to get decent pitchers. To me, 2012 should build the foundation of a very good team for 2013 and 2014. Get Reyes on a 4 year contract, Buherle on a 3 year contract. Sign Stanton and LoMo for long term contracts while they are cheap (like the Brewers did with Braun). Sign Anibal on a 3 year contract, he is a dependable starter. By then Yelich will be ready to go. Right there you have a good foundation of a very good team. There will be plenty of money to get extra pieces to make the Marlins a contender in '13 and '14.

laurelbowie

Flav C,
You didn't hate to say it, you loved saying you told us so. And the fact is, you're right. Both you and Stan M have been saying for some time that Hanley will soon be expendable, and suddenly I believe you. What a wonderful thing it is to sit here in the middle of winter (almost) and feel such anticipation for the coming basebell season. We haven't been able to dream like this in a long time.

laurelbowie

Oops! It's probably the baseball and not the "basebell" season I'm looking forward to.

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