Should the Yankees Trade for Hanley Ramirez?

hanley-ramirezUpon my initial reflection I’m thinking no to Hanley Ramirez. This is based on the fact that he has a bad attitude, isn’t strong defensively, and most importantly Derek Jeter has three years left on his deal. But when Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post wrote this morning that the Marlins should trade Ramirez couldn’t help me feel that the Yankees will at least be slightly interested. When it comes to a talent like him in his prime, how can you not?

It would obviously be huge franchise decision and would likely mean the departure of Jesus Montero, probably at least one of the Killer B’s, and more to land him. We are talking about a 27-year-old player who plays a premium defensive position (although not well), and has averaged a career 136 OPS+ from 06-10.

The big question becomes, are the pros bigger and better than the cons? That’s a tough one.

PROS: The big thing when trading for Hanley is clearly his bat. He averages 70 extra base hits a season, a .906 OPS, and a 136 OPS+. His numbers are down this year, but that is due to back issues and he should almost definitely rebound.

His age is another pro. He’s 27 now and is still under contract through 2014. So that would mean he would be on the Yankees from ages 27-30. His contract isn’t bad either, his salary averages just $15.5 ($46.5 overall) million over each of the next three seasons. In fact, Jeter makes more than him this year and that trend will continue until 2014.

CONS: His biggest con is easily his attitude. In 2009 his issues were well documented and that was before he gave up on his team in 2010 and has now had issues again this season. With the Yankees two things could happen, he could blow up under intense media spotlight and it would be a terrible situation. Or a veteran like Jeter or Alex Rodriguez could take him under their wing and maybe the entire situation could be a positive thing. After all, he never had many veterans to play with on the Marlins.

There is also the issue of his defense. It’s pretty bad. Since 2008 his UZR of -13.2 ranks 19th of 21 qualified shortstops. This guy makes Jeter look like Ozzie Smith. He has had seasons where he provided at least average defense, but he’s also had seasons where he has looked totally lost too. The question is should he even be considered as a replacement for Jeter? Maybe he can play in the outfield?

That brings us to our last and potentially biggest con – Derek Jeter. I suppose if you don’t switch Hanley’s position Jeter’s could potentially be moved. The problem here is that Hanley’s bat plays at any position, move Jeter to right field and the Yankees could have the worst right fielder in baseball. Jeter also didn’t move for one superstar, the only reason he might be willing to move for one now is his age, but his pride is still as large as ever.

Realistically it seems like the only way the Yankees even could trade for Hanley now would be if he agreed to switch positions. That’s still not an easy thing. He can’t be moved to second and third because both are better defensively so the only other choice is right field. Then Nick Swisher becomes a problem.

MY TAKE: This just doesn’t work logistically with Jeter around under contract for the next three years. He would probably have to switch positions and we don’t even know if he would be willing to do that. Even if he was open to it, now he has to adjust to playing in the Bronx and playing at a new position at the same time. Not easy to do.

The attitude problems are not a deal breaker by themselves, but considering it is not the best fit to start with they seem to be the icing on the cake. This entire idea seems a lot more like a video game scenario than anything based in reality. Besides, if they are going to trade away their best prospects it should be for pitching.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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17 Responses to Should the Yankees Trade for Hanley Ramirez?

  1. Tanned Tom says:

    I hate attitude problems in players. The Soriano signing was a perfect example of how things can go wrong with guys like this. Jeter's the everyday SS until A-Rod becomes the DH, then he gets moved to 3B. Moving him to the outfield makes little sense. At this point in his career his most valuable asset is his head for the game, you don't utilize that with him in RF.
    My question is should the NYY exercise the option on Swisher, when he he seems to have regressed to a .225 – .240 hitter?

    • Swisher is batting .307 with a 1.041 OPS over the last 23 games. So I would hold off on saying he has regressed.

      Also, Swisher has always been a .250 hitter. His strength has been his pop and patience so looking at his batting average will never do him justice.

      • Mike Sommer says:

        Swish does lead the team in walks. The average is just .238, the HR are down (7), but the OPS+ is a respectable 106 because of the walks. What is bothersome is the .071 w/RISP and 2 out from Swish.

  2. Mike Sommer says:

    I don't even see Jeter at 3B. Jeter hasn't played one inning anywhere except SS in his professional career. None. Nowhere. There is no guarantee Jeter adjusts to a different position, especially now that he is in his late-30's. If Jeter has range issues at SS, what would he be like at 3B, where your reflexes have to be sharper? As I see it, there is no other place on the diamond for Jeter. His complete lack of an OPS (OPS+ 77 as of now) makes him a poor choice for the OF, or for that matter, 3B. Also a poor DH, but that's where he would end his career.

  3. allen says:

    There are lots of bats around that can be had for 15M without the poison attitude that Ramirez brings. NYC fans and press would tear him apart. That might be fun to watch, but we'd be losing games in the process. And from my perspective, beautiful baseball is all about defense. Our D has not been great this year but — good grief! — we're better than this clown.

  4. hardnose says:

    bad attitudes kill chemistry…the mid 70's teams had some attitude issues but guys like Hanley Ramirez and Rafael Soriano are bad news imo…even Manny had a better attitude…

  5. hardnose says:

    Pena may catch on with the Pirates but he's wasting time in a Yankee uniform…you're right Susan, the 1990's championship teams did not have superstars at every position and they excelled…it makes no sense to have Nunez wait until Jeter retires to get his shot at the ss position…decisions need to be made before that time…hate to say it but he may wind up being traded even though the Yankees held him back on the Montero-Lee offer last year…lots of teams are seeing what this kid can bring…

  6. hardnose says:

    would love to see a marquee pitcher come to NY via trade but the Yankees could not get it done in 2009 and 2010…it's hard to pry these pitchers away without giving up the farm…

  7. Susan says:

    I would be so pissed to trade Nunez just to accommodate Jeter. We need to stop this kind of nonsense. I'll be bitter about the ridiculous four year extension until it's over and probably beyond. Two years would've been more than enough. What is your opinion on Jose Reyes possibly coming the Yanks?

    • Mike Sommer says:

      For one thing, that hairstyle and scruffy beard would have to go. 😉

    • I can't see Reyes coming here for two reasons. The first is that Derek Jeter is under contract for three more years and realistically there is no good position to move him to. He's the shortstop probably for his entire tenure no matter what. Two, he's going to be overpaid and I think Randy Levine will be more hesitant to go over Cashman's head this offseason. Cashman won't overpay for Reyes like that.

  8. Susan says:

    Right on cue, Ramiro Pena proves my point in the double header. 0-7 with THREE errors. Bravo Ramiro, bravooooo. He had such a sterling first game of 0-3 with 3 errors, so they moved him over to 2nd in the second game for an encore. If at first you don't succeed… I guess. What will it take for the Yankees to see that this guy is pure garbage in every sense of the word?

  9. yankeepride says:

    Pena's going nowhere…he barely hits at AAA…it speaks volumes that the Yankees do not have any other alternatives for a utility infielder at this point…time to make some low level trades…i think Pena is a .200 hitter in the majors if given the chance and an adequate glove most of the time…i agree that last nights gave was odd for him but we're not talking about a guy who just needs a little more time…

    • Mike Sommer says:

      Pena is what he is. A defensive specialist/versatile utility man who plays every 10 days or so to give someone a day off. Nothing more or less than that.

  10. yankeepride says:

    how is Slade Heathcott doing and the catcher Romine…both these guys could be major leaguers…maybe even Kei Igawa..haha…do we have any feelers in Japan/East Asia and Cuba?

    • Mike Sommer says:

      Heathcott, 20 years old, .271 at Charleston. Cooling down after a hot start.

      Romine missed some time with a concussion. .298 at AA Trenton. The 22 year old will be playing in the Futures Game.

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