Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hanley for Reyes?

            The Marlins are in last place. They are sixteen and a half games behind the Phillies. Josh Johnson might be done for the season. But they aren't in the financial turmoil the Dodgers are in. They have more talent than the Astros. They have a young core that includes Logan Morrison, Gaby Sanchez, Mike Stanton, the previously mentioned Johnson, and the once considered best shortstop in the game Hanley Ramirez. The New York Mets find themselves in a peculiar position. They have outperformed anyone's most generous predictions for them this season thus far. Met fans would storm Citifield in protest if the team entered a fire sale right now. But the reality is that they cannot pay Jose Reyes the money he's going to be looking for, reportedly a contract larger than Carl Crawford's. What to do?

             Ramirez's unpopularity has been documented. He's worn out his welcome and this year's performance simply does not justify putting up with his antics anymore. Most general managers feel he may even be untradeable figuring his attitude, lack of performance, and his increasing weight. But a change in scenery is definitely needed. His remaining contract presents a nice discount compared to what Jose Reyes will command in free agency. The Mets should look into swapping Reyes for Hanley now. It's a gamble. But if Hanley refocuses, changes his act, loses this weight, and gets back to being the power/stolen base threat he was in seasons past, then the Mets will have actually gotten fair value for Jose Reyes while paying less.

              At the same time, such a deal should provide a boost to the Marlins. Infuse a young talented core with more energy, and positive attitude. Reyes would provide the team with the table setter they undoubtably need. He would get into the heads of opposing pitchers who would need to deal with him while pitching to Stanton, Sanchez, and Morrison. Such a trade would make them dangerous. Yes there's the threat of injury. Yes there's the question if the Marlins can afford Reyes. But if they can get out from the shadow of Hanley Ramirez, then it is a risk that may be well worth it.

Daniel Mazler
Twitter - DMazzle

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