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Hanley Ramirez Rumors
The Marlins, now tied for last place in their division with a 49-60 record after an offseason of free agent extravagances, are evaluating what went wrong. “We set ourselves up for it,’’ Marlins president David Samson said, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. But owner Jeffrey Loria is “angry, and he should be,” according to Samson. Here are more Marlins-related notes from Samson:
- Samson wouldn’t say whether the Marlins will lower payroll next year, but he said last month’s Hanley Ramirez trade wasn’t about saving money. “Not one trade that was done was payroll-motivated,’’ Samson said.
- Changes to the front office and on-field staff can’t be ruled out, Samson said. It’ll be up to Loria to evaluate manager Ozzie Guillen and the rest of the coaching staff, according to Samson. Guillen is in the first year of a four-year contract.
- Samson assumed most of the responsibility for the team's disappointing season. He mentioned president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and general manager Michael Hill as two others who share the blame.
- The Marlins will consider adding key players through trades and free agency this offseason, Samson said, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. However, the Marlins won’t match last offseason’s spending spree.
The A's were nine games below .500 in mid-June, but they're now 51-44 following an impressive six-week stretch that's positioned them as contenders for a playoff berth. Here are the latest A’s-related notes and rumors…
- Rollins is not currently an option for the A's, Slusser reports. Slusser hears from two people who aren't convinced Rollins would approve a deal to Oakland (Twitter links).
- The A’s pursued Hanley Ramirez aggressively before the Marlins sent him to Los Angeles, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle confirms that the A’s were “very much in on” Ramirez (Twitter link). The Marlins recently offered Oakland a “sweet deal” that would have sent Ramirez to the A's for a couple of minor leaguers and enough cash to cover half of Ramirez’s contract, Knobler writes. But the A’s held off on the deal, and the Dodgers agreed to take on all of Ramirez’s salary.
- The A’s are still looking to add, Knobler reports. They have been scouting Stephen Drew, have had interest in Yunel Escobar, and have considered the possibility of bringing Oakland native Jimmy Rollins back to the Bay Area.
Alex Rodriguez broke his hand last night, when he was hit by a pitch from Felix Hernandez in Seattle. The injury is expected to sideline Rodriguez for six to eight weeks, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Not surprisingly, the news will affect the Yankees' summer shopping list. Here are the latest notes from the AL East…
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman said he’ll engage the market for a third baseman, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. The Yankees will consider all third base options, including Chase Headley of the Padres, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). It seems unlikely that the Yankees would meet the Padres' asking price for Headley, Heyman writes (on Twitter).
- The Red Sox asked the Marlins about Hanley Ramirez before last night’s trade, but Boston’s interest was in acquiring the infielder and flipping him to a third team, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. It sounds as though the Red Sox were going to flip Ramirez to either the A’s or the Dodgers, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter).
- The Orioles announced that they signed 25-year-old Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia to a minor league contract. The Orioles will assign the 6’5”, 195-pound switch-hitter to Double-A Bowie. Urrutia did not play in 2011 following an unsuccessful attempt at defection, according to the Orioles. He established residency in Haiti after successfully defecting from Cuba.
The Dodgers announced that they have acquired Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate from the Marlins for Nathan Eovaldi and minor league right-hander Scott McGough. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Miami is not sending any money to the Dodgers to cover the salaries of Ramirez and Choate (Twitter links). But GM Ned Colletti couldn't pass up the chance to add Ramirez to his team's struggling lineup.
“The addition of a hitter the caliber of Hanley Ramirez improves our lineup from top to bottom, inserting a proven run producer to go along with Matt and Andre,” Colletti said. “We’re excited for Hanley to begin a new chapter in Los Angeles.”
The Athletics, Dodgers, Blue Jays and Orioles all had some interest in Ramirez, and the Red Sox might have been interested as well. However, the infielder has 37.3MM remaining on his contract with Miami ($15MM in 2012, $15.5MM in 2013 and $16MM in 2014) and owns a pedestrian .246/.322/.430 batting line. His trade value isn’t what it once was.
"We had to do something," Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). "The machine was sputtering. It's too good a baseball team and for some reason it didn't seem to be operating on all cylinders from the beginning of the season."
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly will determine whether to play Ramirez at shortstop or third base, Rosenthal reports (on Twitter). Ramirez has volunteered to play either position, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). He's likely to play shortstop until Dee Gordon returns from the disabled list, then move to third base.
Choate, 36, has a 2.49 ERA with 9.6 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a 60.3% ground ball rate in 25 1/3 innings with the Marlins this year. The lefty specialist earns $1.5MM in the final season of a two-year, $2.5MM contract and will hit free agency after the season. The Dodgers had been looking for a left-handed reliever.
Eovaldi has started ten games for the Dodgers this year, posting a 4.15 ERA with 5.4 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 56 1/3 innings. The 22-year-old entered the season as the 96th-best prospect in MLB, according to Baseball America. In five minor league seasons he has a 3.28 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 3.7 BB /9.
McGough, a 22-year-old right-hander, has a 3.88 ERA with 9.1 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 in 34 relief outings at Class A. The 2011 fifth rounder has averaged more than one strikeout per inning since being drafted.
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports first reported the trade and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports first reported McGough's inclusion in the deal. Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.
6:47pm: With Ramirez owed roughly $38.5MM for the remainder of his contract, rival executives say the Marlins would have to pick up a substantial portion of that money in any deal, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.com. As well, some teams think Ramirez is not a third baseman, though they might try him again at shortstop (Twitter links).
3:59pm: Though the Marlins are waiting for the Dodgers to show interest in Ramirez, no significant talks have taken place between the teams yet, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (on Twitter).
2:15pm: The Athletics, Dodgers, Blue Jays and Orioles are among the teams with interest in Hanley Ramirez, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Interest levels in Ramirez vary and nothing is close, Rosenthal reports. The Red Sox are also interested, according to USA Today. However, Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com hears Boston isn't in on Ramirez (Twitter link).
An American League official told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that the Marlins' asking price for Hanley Ramirez is "not ridiculous." Miami wants quality young pieces in return for Ramirez, who earns $15MM in 2012, $15.5MM in 2013 and $16MM in 2014. The infielder does not have no-trade protection.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com suggests the A's, Dodgers, Red Sox, Giants, Pirates, Blue Jays and Orioles are potential fits for Ramirez. Earlier today, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs suggested Toronto could be a fit because Rogers Centre is a haven for right-handed power hitters. Though I have no doubt the Blue Jays checked in on Ramirez, they routinely inquire in available players, so this isn't necessarily an indication of serious interest.
5:24pm: The Marlins told teams they would trade only one of Johnson or Sanchez, so it would take a "blowaway" offer to land Johnson as of now, reports Peter Gammons of MLB Network (on Twitter).
4:15pm: Teams inquiring on Johnson are being told his finger issue is minor, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (on Twitter). Johnson is expected to make his next start.
2:49pm: The Blue Jays are interested in Marlins starter Josh Johnson, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The Blue Jays also have interest in Hanley Ramirez, but their interest in Johnson is stronger, Morosi reports.
Johnson, 28, has a 4.14 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 119 2/3 innings of work this year. The 6'7" right-hander earns $13.75MM per season in 2012 and 2013. He has a ground ball rate of 46.9% and an average fastball velocity of 93 mph, according to FanGraphs. Johnson experienced irritation on the middle finger of his pitching hand in last night's start.
The Blue Jays, now 48-47, are said to be looking for controllable starting pitching options, even after acquiring J.A. Happ. The club's injury-depleted rotation currently includes Ricky Romero, Aaron Laffey, Carlos Villanueva, Henderson Alvarez and Brett Cecil.
The Marlins are drawing interest in a number of players, including Ramirez and Johnson, after trading Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit. They're open to moving Ramirez, but likely to keep Johnson.
The Marlins traded Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to Detroit yesterday in what could be the first in a series of trades. Marlins officials have told other teams they are “open for business,” Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Hanley Ramirez, Carlos Lee, Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco and Randy Choate are already drawing trade interest.
The Marlins intend to complete trades that make sense from an on-field perspective, Rosenthal reports. Miami, which now has a 45-51 record, isn’t looking to dump salaries. The Marlins will absolutely try hard to move Heath Bell, but they’re not optimistic about the chances of completing a trade involving their newly-signed closer, Rosenthal reports. Bell is in the first year of a three-year, $27MM contract signed last offseason.
The Athletics have jumped into trade talks for Ramirez, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (on Twitter). The Blue Jays and Red Sox are also involved, according to Nightengale. The Marlins are open to moving Ramirez, but they’re likely to keep Johnson, who’s coveted by other teams.
After 11-plus seasons in Seattle, Ichiro Suzuki has been traded to the Yankees. The Mariners responded to Ichiro’s trade request last night, sending the outfielder to New York for right-handers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar. Here’s the latest from the AL East, starting with some reactions to the big trade…
- Though Ichiro has been a star for his entire MLB career, he's now a role player on the Yankees, Joel Sherman of the New York Post explains.
- The Yankees asked about Shane Victorino and Denard Span before completing the deal for Ichiro, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes. The Phillies appear to have suggested a high asking price for Victorino (though they aren't yet committed to selling) and the Yankees believed the Twins’ asking price for Span was too high.
- The Red Sox were still listening to the Marlins about possible deals involving Hanley Ramirez last night, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports. The Marlins have never been more open to trading Ramirez.
The Marlins aren’t thinking about firing manager Ozzie Guillen, but are expected to continue discussing potential trades in the week leading up to the MLB trade deadline, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The 45-51 Marlins sent Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit yesterday, signaling that they don’t expect to contend in 2012. Here are more of Rosenthal’s notes…
- Hanley Ramirez could be the next player traded, Rosenthal reports. The Marlins tried to send the third baseman to Boston last week and they’re still open to moving him.
- The Marlins figure to shop Heath Bell aggressively, even though he’s just four months into a three-year contract.
- Teams covet Josh Johnson, who’s under contract for 2013.
- Ichiro Suzuki is “a lot better than you think” once you take defense and baserunning into consideration, one executive tells Rosenthal. The Yankees acquired the veteran outfielder from Seattle yesterday.
- The Rangers would love to obtain a top-of-the-rotation starter, but they believe they could address their rotation issues internally if necessary. Cole Hamels will be atop the Rangers’ list of potential targets if the Phillies don’t re-sign him.
- The Phillies are indicating to other teams that they’re eager to move Hunter Pence. The right fielder will remain under team control through 2013, when he’s expected to obtain a raise and earn $13-14MM.
- Rosenthal mentioned this yesterday, but it’s worth repeating: the Nationals are among the teams interested in Zack Greinke.
The Marlins positioned themselves as sellers earlier today when they traded Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers for a package of prospects highlighted by Jacob Turner, and it doesn't sound like they're stopping there. In talking to teams around the league, Scott Miller of CBS Sports hears that the Marlins have "never been more open" to the idea of trading long-time franchise cornerstone Hanley Ramirez.
As Miller notes, the Fish don't feel they're far from contending, they simply have soured on a mix of players that has underperformed. Ramirez's most recent antics, in which he punched a cooling fan in the dugout, now have him unavailable to play. Ramirez stopped taking medication for the cut he sustained, which has led to an infection in his hand.
Ramirez is signed through 2014 and will make $15.5MM in 2013 and $16MM in 2014. The former MVP candidate is batting just .246/.322/.430 with 14 homers and 14 steals.
Miller was told by a source familiar with the Marlins' thinking that they are likely to hang onto right-hander Josh Johnson, who was scouted heavily tonight. Unlike Sanchez, Johnson has one year of team control left, which is why the Marlins preferred to move Sanchez. Johnson will earn $13.75MM in 2013 — the final year of a four-year, $39MM pact he signed prior to the 2010 season.
Randy Choate, who is finishing up a two-year contract, is also expected to be traded prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, according to Miller. The 34-year-old lefty slayer has pitched to a 2.19 ERA in 24 2/3 innings and held same-handed hitters to a minuscule .136/.188/.169 triple slash line. Choate signed a two-year, $2.5MM deal in December of 2010.