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Hanley Ramirez Getting Paid by Marlins

It’s quite ironic. I was just having a baseball conversation with my Dad and he said that there aren’t many better bargains out there than what Albert Pujols is making from St. Louis. I countered quickly by asking, “what about Hanley Ramirez?” That was a quick conversation stopper. Unfortunately that will only answer the question for the next few months. The news out of South Florida is that the Marlins and Hanley Ramirez have agreed on the framework of a six-year $70 million contract. Hanley would have been arbitration eligible after this season, meaning for the next three years he’d probably earn around $4 mil, $8 mil, and $12 mil, or something around that range. Then on the free market for a three-year deal, he probably would have easily earned $50 million. He probably sold himself short by around 5-10 million at the least.

The good news is two-fold. It’s a great sign that the Marlins are actually locking up a star and not just letting them go like usual. They traded away one of the top young hitters in the game (top five if you ask me), in Miguel Cabrera, when any sane team would have done anything possible to keep such a talent. Additionally, I love it when players take “paycuts” to stay with their teams. I’m all about the hometown discount — it breeds competitive balance. That’s why I wanted the Twins to keep Johan. I think players for the most part should stick with where they’ve been successful so long as they’re comfortable. Hopefully this deal can get inked so the Marlins will have at least one top player for years to come, and so Hanley Ramirez can become the face of their franchise. It would be good for all parties.

Which SS/3B Tandem Is the Best?

Typically the trivia questions they ask at the ballpark are lame. As are the questions they pose on TV while you’re watching a ballgame. Except for in this case. My buddy, frequent commenter here at LBS, and occasional site contributor, Alan Hull, notified me that one of the questions posed during a Dodgers/Marlins game (I think) was the following: which SS/3B tandem would you rather have? The choices were excellent — making the decision about as tough as any. So I will pose it to you, along with another tandem that is somewhat noteworthy for you to choose from (age in parenthesis):

  1. Marlins:
    3B Miguel Cabrera (24) – 348 BA, 8 HR, career OPS .925, 112 career HRs
    SS Hanley Ramirez (23) – 336 BA, 31 runs, 10 SBs, .951 OPS, NL ROY
  2. Yankees:
    3B Alex Rodriguez (31) – 15HR, 39 RBI, 1.212 OPS, 2 MVPs, 40/40, 2 GG
    SS Derek Jeter (32) – 362 BA, 23 runs, ROY, 3 GG, WS MVP, .317 career BA
  3. Mets:
    3B David Wright (24) – 254, 3 SBs, 69 career HRs, .301 career BA
    SS Jose Reyes (23) – 352 BA, 982 OPS, 31 runs, 19 SBs, 3x NL SB king
  4. Atlanta Braves
    3B Chipper Jones (35) – 10 home runs, 23 RBI, 1.042 OPS, 1999 NL MVP
    SS Edgar Renteria (31) – .338 BA, 906 OPS, 5 time All-Star, 2 Gold Gloves

On the surface, you might just say the Yankees without hesitation. That’s not a bad answer, and probably the tandem I’d want for the next 3-5 years. But can you so easily deny the youth of the Marlins and Mets? The Braves was the tandem I added to the discussion because, well, I feel like an argument can be made for them. If it were just for this season, I’d go with the Yankees tandem. If it were to start a franchise, I dunno, tough call between the Mets and Marlins. If you’re talking about the best 3B/SS bargain financially, no question — it’s the Marlins. You pretty much can’t go wrong with any of the three. But how lucky are the Marlins and Mets to have what they do for now, especially at those prices?