What will happen with Hanley Ramirez
? Well, you heard it here first....Whatever happens, it won't be our problem. Hanley is gone in July. Do I have some kind of inside source that you don't know of? Nah. It's mostly just a hunch. But I really think that Ramirez will be sent to another team in a bigtime deadline deal. His .314/.366/.463 line over four years of minor league ball is pretty impressive, especially for a shortstop. He's very likely to be a very good major league player. But he doesn't fit into the Red Sox plan. They just inked Edgar Renteria
to a four year deal. Their farm system is filled with shortstops. Twenty year old Justin Pedroia
will be switching to 2B in Portland this year, but 19 year olds Christian Lara
and Luis Soto
will be nearly ready for the majors by the time Renteria's deal is done if they develop properly. Even if those three prospects don't really pan out the Red Sox have enough cash to be able to bring in a shortstop in four years that will bridge the gap until another shortstop in our system is ready. The Red Sox have plenty of options at short and with there being no real talks of Ramirez switching positions I think he's going to be shipped off for some major league help down the stretch. Who would the Sox get in return? I'm not sure. I just went looking for a list of guys who will be free agents at the end of the year, but I'm not quite sure where to look for that. But if there's a major arm available on a team that's not going anywhere that team could find themselves in possession of a shiny new minor league shortstop. I'd like to see Ramirez make a name for himself as a member of the Red Sox. I mean the last time we had a minor leaguer
take over at short, it turned out pretty damn good.
In the You Heard it There department, what about Ramirez in center
? I like the idea. Ramirez has the athleticism to play in center and that would likely cut down on the high error totals that he's had coming up through the minors. With Johny Damon
looking for big money once the year is over I don't think the Sox will be interested in bringing him back. So we'll be in need of a center fielder in 2006. In the link provided Marc over at Baseball Rants
projects what he believes Damon and Ramirez will do up until 2012. What it boils down to is that Ramirez is an up-and-coming star while Damon is at his peak and about to start his decline. I'm not sure what there are for centerfield options out there on the free agent market, but I don't think there are any names out there that could dazzle. Damon isn't worth a huge pay day so why not have our own guy play?
I like the idea of Ramirez in center. I'm going to have to get into the habit of saying Hanley instead of just Ramirez. I think I nearly gave a Sox fan a heart attack by saying "Ramirez in center"....No, I didn't mean Manny. But I do like the idea of Hanley in center. What's the worst that could happen? But Hanley is going to start the season at short in Portland. And I have a feeling that by July he'll be playing on a non-contending team's AAA squad. My only hope is that he at least makes it up to Pawtucket so I can catch a few games of his before he goes.