The Miami Miamis Marlins have reportedly offered free agent shortstop Jose Reyes a six-year, $90 million dollar contract. It appears that the Marlins are indeed serious about making a splash as they move into their new ballpark, but the addition of Reyes could lead to troubled waters.
I’ve been no stranger to the subject of the 2011-2012 Florida and Miami Marlins. First, I took a look at their soap opera of a season. Then, after trading for one of the most controversial managers in baseball, they unveiled this little gem monstrosity that is set to burn the eyes of all in attendance after every home run hit by the home team. Now, along with the reports of the Reyes offer, come reportsthat the face of the franchise, Hanley Ramriez, doesn’t like the idea of moving from shortstop one bit.
“The two aren’t the friends many portray.” Now I reeeeeeaally hope Reyes signs with the Marlins. Take away what might happen to the ego of Ramirez or what possible clubhouse or financial ramifications a Reyes signing might have, it would be a move that helps the on-field product. Whether he likes it or not, Hanley Ramirez is not a quality major league shortstop. I broke down his defensive inefficiencies in this article.
“Hanley Ramirez has been one of the best offensive shortstops in baseball over the last six years. His defense, however, is, well, a bit offensive. If we go back to 2006 Ramirez ranks second to last in ultimate zone rating (UZR)out of 64 shortstops with at least 1000 innings at the position. That is to say, he only narrowly beat out the fantastically futile Yuniesky Betancout for the title of baseball’s worst defensive shortstop over the last six years. Even if we go with the more traditional — and less effective — stat of fielding percentage, Hanley still grades out poorly with a .968 fielding percentage, ranking him 49th out of 64 and three spots below “boot barn” Betancourt.”
Interestingly enough, Reyes has graded out as below average defensivelyover the last few seasons as well, perhaps mostly due to leg injuries, though he is still an improvement over Ramirez. Whether this move actually happens or not is yet to be seen, but as a non-Marlins fan I’d love to see it happen just for the fallout thereafter. Sure, Hanley would be forced to move positions and eventually he’ll say something like, “I’ll do anything to help the team win*.” But below the surface there will be a clubhouse divided. A clubhouse managed by none other than Ozzie Guillen.
*Then when the Marlins make the playoffs the media will gush over Ramirez like they did Michael Young this past postseason, despite the fact that Young wanted out of Texas after they signed Adrian Beltre to take his position.
Hopefully, if we’re lucky, Reyes will sign with the Marlins and the cage match between him and Han-Ram will become the circus’ new main event. Logan Morrison and Ozzie Guillen can live tweet the whole thing while this thing goes off. Now that’s entertainment!