Why In The World Are The Marlins Open To Trading Hanley Ramirez?

Besides the U.S. Basketball exhibition against Spain today has been a very slow day in the sporting world. Not much to get excited about. Nothing groundbreaking going on.

That all changed when I saw reports that Hanley Ramirez is being shopped by the Marlins. Not just shopped, practically on the trading block.

And BOOM there it was, something to write about.

This is absolutely mind boggling to me. Why on earth would you trade one of the best hitters in the major leagues????

So the Fish are going to miss the playoffs this year. And they have a high payroll.

I don't care! Just because you miss the playoffs doesn't mean you have to completely unload every piece on your team (which it looks like the Marlins might do). Think if the Lakers traded Kobe Bryant the year they were an 8 seed. What if the Giants got rid of Matt Cain when they missed out on the post season last year. Derek Jeter has even missed the playoffs. Should the Yankees have shipped off Jeter and the rest of his talented teammates? No!

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Baseball's trade deadline is unlike any other. If a team feels that they are out of it they will completely abandon ship and get rid of players that could be All Stars for years to come. Hanley Ramirez's situation is like Cole Hamels. Hamels has helped the Phillies win a World Series, but Philly is having a bad year. Send him to Texas. Ridiculous.

Both Philadelphia and the Marlins have several great players, a core group, that could lead them deep into the playoffs for years to come. It hasn't worked out well for either squad this year, but the inability of these front offices to think long term is just unbelievable.


Hanley Ramirez has been a Marlin his entire big league career and has been one of the all around best players in the majors every year he has played. Even though his fielding has been questionable at third base, Ramirez still possess every tool necessary to play the position. You have to give a guy more than half a season to learn a position! There is no reason that, given more experience and time to adjust, Ramirez can't be a solid third baseman. Even with Ramirez's struggles at third, he is still one of the most complete hitters in the bigs. The guy is a career .300 hitter that has hit as high as .342 and has power to hit 30+ home runs. Not to mention he has the speed to steal 30+ bases. If the club will give him a chance to learn how to play third, he could once again be one of the elite players in baseball.

Obviously, every trade is just as much about money as it is skill and Ramirez is owed quite a bit. The Marlins have always used the strategy of trading away great players and building for one world series run. That strategy is not going to work anymore. They have a brand new state of the art ballpark.  If they are going to field terrible teams five out of every six years, no one is going to come. No one is going to develop a strong connection to the team. You cannot run a succesful franchise that way. If the Marlins need evidence they can simply look in the mirror. The franchise won two World Series (1997 and 2003) within a six year period, yet still could not sell out playoff games! Their strategy is faulty. They have been the laughing stock of the league several times, only drawing 300 fans to games. Now that they finally have a solid, playoff caliber team, they are thinking about trading away everything they put together. How much sense does that make? Tip: Pay Ramirez this season and reap the benefits by making the playoffs next year.

[caption id="attachment_31" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="There is actually a Marlins game going on in this picture"][/caption]

The Marlins are not going to win a World Series this year. That doesn't mean that they should give up. Successful franchises are not built by constant roster turnover and settling for dreadful seasons. If the Marlins want to be a respectable franchise that can compete year in and year out they should keep Hanley Ramirez.

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