The Astros have checked in on top free agent hitter Hanley Ramirez, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal notes that with Carlos Correa, Colin Moran, and Rio Ruiz in the Astros’ pipeline for the left side of their infield, it’s unclear whether the Astros would be willing to meet Ramirez’s demands for a large contract.
In Zach Links’ profile of Ramirez for MLBTR four days ago, he projected a six-year, $132MM deal. In recent predictions, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and an anonymous GM predicted five-year deals for Ramirez worth $105MM and $90MM, respectively, while an agent went with six years and $122MM. ESPN’s Jim Bowden takes the low end at just four years and $76MM. Clearly, there’s a wide range on Ramirez’s next contract.
Ramirez could make sense for the Astros, who project to have less than $40MM committed for 2015 even after paying their arbitration eligible players. Correa, Moran, and Ruiz have a 2016 estimated time of arrival, but not all prospects pan out on a schedule, and Ramirez recently expressed a willingness to play “wherever there’s a need,” according to Heyman. The Astros’ first-round draft pick is protected, so they would have to forfeit the competitive balance round pick they acquired from the Marlins in the summer trade that netted them Moran if they were to sign Ramirez.