The Marlins are more likely to look internally for third base help than they are to sign a major free agent like Aramis Ramirez, a source close to the team tells Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
We'd heard the Fish had interest in Ramirez and the team is known to be willing to spend this winter, but Miami also has top prospect Matt Dominguez waiting in the wings at third. Dominguez has just a .255/.325/.418 batting line in five minor league seasons but is considered to be a Gold Glove-caliber fielder. The Marlins could decide to spend at positions where there's a more glaring need, since signing Ramirez would block Dominguez for at least the next few years.
Ramirez recently said that he would enjoy playing for Ozzie Guillen in Miami and expounded on that thought to Wittenmyer. "[Guillen] knows how it is because he played the game,’’ Ramirez said. “No disrespect to all the other managers that haven’t — that doesn’t mean they don’t respect the players. I don’t think [Mike Quade] played a lot. But I never had any problem with him. I respect him, and he respects me back. But it’s a little different when you get a guy who played the game and knows how things work.’’
Guillen, for his part, says the Marlins have already asked him about some Chicago players, but the manager said he wasn't going to go out of his way to lobby the front office to acquire particular names. Besides Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano has been connected to a possible move to Florida, and Wittenmyer also adds Mark Buehrle's name to the mix. Buehrle recently said he would be intrigued by pitching in the NL after spending his first 12 seasons with the White Sox.