Marlins better off flirting with Jose Reyes than signing him
Trying to motivate Hanley Ramirez by talking to a shortstop who could supplant him in Miami... that’s a great idea.
Actually signing said injury-prone shortstop to a contract worth in excess of $20 million per year... that might not work out so well.
Jose Reyes would certainly help the Marlins, just like he’d help every team in baseball, but he doesn’t seem like the best use of resources for this winter’s nouveau riche Miami club.
A Reyes signing would force the Marlins to move their incumbent superstar to either center field or third base. Now, that could work out. I was strongly in favor of moving him to center a few years ago, and while Ramirez is a better shortstop now than when he entered the league, he’s never going to be a big asset there. Regardless of whether the Marlins land Reyes or not, Ramirez, who turns 28 in December, figures to require a move by age 31 or 32.
But Ramirez doesn’t want to move. And while the three-time All-Star could use a kick in the rear, the Marlins can’t have him sulking his way through another season. That would almost certainly lead to a trade, with the Marlins getting back only a fraction of what he’s worth.
I can certainly see the Marlins’ attraction here. A lineup with Reyes leading off, Ramirez batting third and future home run champ Mike Stanton in the cleanup spot has the potential to be among the game’s best.
But it also might not gel at any point. Hanley will complain and potentially dog it. Reyes will get hurt. The outfield could be dreadful defensively (putting Ramirez at third base and Emilio Bonifacio in center field is another alternative that might lead of a better defense in the short-term, though I think Hanley is a better fit in center for the long haul).
The upside is enticing, but the Marlins really should pass on Reyes. Now, Albert Pujols... that’s an entirely different matter.