Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez is enduring the worst season of his career by far, with a .206/.302/.299 line in 233 plate appearances. He's dealt with leg and foot contusions and a DL stint for back pain, and was benched Monday for Jack McKeon's first game. Now, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that "there is sentiment within the Florida organization that the Marlins would be better off trading Ramirez – but also the perception that owner Jeffrey Loria loves him." Olney goes on to tweet that Ramirez is anything other than the front man in the clubhouse, and that some rival evaluators feel he is now too big to be an effective shortstop.
Ramirez, still just 27, earns $11MM this year, $15MM next year, $15.5MM in '13, and $16MM in '14, and does not have a no-trade clause. Ramirez is probably the face of the franchise, as he won the Rookie of the Year in '06 and is a three-time All-Star. On the other hand, the Marlins have plenty of young talent to promote when they enter the new ballpark next year in Josh Johnson, Mike Stanton, Logan Morrison, and Gaby Sanchez.
Trading Ramirez now does not make sense; Olney guesses the Marlins would get about 50 or 60 cents on the dollar. But it would not be surprising to revisit this topic in the offseason. Selling a Ramirez trade to the fanbase would require an excellent haul, a suitable replacement at shortstop, and reallocation of his salary.