In this USA Today piece by Bob Nightengale, he reveals that the Miami Marlins may be trading numerous assets this month, with a potential blockbuster being discussed that would send Hanley Ramirez and Heath Bell to the Red Sox in exchange for Carl Crawford.
Something like that seems absolutely ludicrous on the surface…but the more I think about it, it starts to make a lot of sense. Boston has been regretting Crawford's contract since before the ink even dried a year and a half ago, and dealing him would be a huge burden lifted off of the team's shoulders. The Red Sox almost have a glut of outfielders right now, with Cody Ross in right, Jacoby Ellsbury back and healthy in center, and guys like Ryan Sweeney, Daniel Nava, and Scott Podsednik that could adequately take care of left without paying them eight figures. The Red Sox also have a hole at shortstop where Mike Aviles, a good defender with a .287 OBP and some pop, is the current starter. The bullpen has been fine this year for Boston (surprisingly), but they could always use another arm.
As for the Marlins….the trade would make a lot less sense. After trading Matt Dominguez two weeks ago in the Carlos Lee deal, their third baseman would probably end up being Emilio Bonifacio, who's played the position in the past and is currently the team's center fielder, which I bet would be given to Crawford. But trading Ramirez, once deemed the face of the franchise, seems counterproductive to the efforts of owner Jeffrey Loria to build the franchise around his current third baseman. But the 28 year-old has been a disappointment for the second straight year, and getting some value for Ramirez while dumping his contract would make sense. Bell has been terrible for the Marlins this year, and while he's being paid like a top-flight reliever…hell, it's a reliever. They're fungible assets. I think a team like the Red Sox would know more about this than anyone, letting Jonathan Papelbon walk in free agency this year, and acquiring closer Andrew Bailey from Oakland (who hasn't thrown a pitch) and converting set-up man Daniel Bard to a starter (where he failed miserably).
Now, keep in mind. These are *trade rumors*, with the empahsis on "rumors". Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted about the potential megadeal, and said that the proposal immediately died on the table. But the point remains that the Marlins are at least considering other moves. Nightengale also mentioned that the team is in talks to send second baseman Omar Infante to the Tigers (where he started his career), and are also chatting with teams about starting pitchers Josh Johnson and free agent to be Anibal Sanchez.
Just three and a half months after starting a season with extremely high expectations, the Marlins could blow it all up and start over again, with Jose Reyes as the face of the franchise. This could get very interesting, very quickly.
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