Phillies Have Strong Interest in Aramis Ramirez
As Day one at the Baseball winter meetings winds downs, we will keep you up-to-date right here at www.973espn.com on the latest news surrounding the Phillies and NL East each night.
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The big story of the day around the Phillies centered around Jimmy Rollins and Aramis Ramirez. There are a few ways to read this situation, one, the Phillies are looking at Ramirez as a fall-back plan in case Rollins stays firm with his demand of five years. Secondly, maybe the Phillies are talking to Ramirez to see if Rollins caves in and take less years to come back - either way, Ruben Amaro Jr seems like he wants to make a big move.
Ramirez for Rollins is an interesting trade-off, Ramirez gives you a legitimate middle-of-the-order bat that can hit behind Ryan Howard when he returns. Last season in Chicago, Ramirez hit .306 with 26 HR and 93 RBI. Ramirez would replace a declining Placido Polonco and represent a significant offensive upgrade, Polanco is under contract for the 2012 season and has an option for 2013.
If the Phillies do sign Ramirez, that would probably mean the end of Rollins in Philadelphia. If that is the case, the Phillies would probably either go with Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez until Freddy Galvis is ready to make the jump. They could bring in a veteran free agent like Nick Punto or Jack Wilson to hold the fort down until Galvis is ready. A third option is would be to bring in a veteran shortstop in and then wait until the trade deadline comes to make a move for one of next year's free agent shortstops like Jason Bartlett, Erick Aybar, Jhonny Peralta or Ryan Theriot.
Really the question is which is a better option, Rollins and Polonco back again or Ramirez and a make-shift shortstop situation for 2011 and hope Galvis is ready by late 2012 and then he is your guy in 2013.
Here is a rundown of the days one news:
- The Phillies are strong players for free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez.
- The Phillies are actively trying to trade third baseman Placido Polanco, who is owed $7.25MM through 2012.
- The Phillies haven't completely ruled out Michael Cuddyer, but signing him isn't likely.
- Ruben Amaro's recent meeting with Rollins' agent Dan Lozano "did not go all that well," Rollins is not backing off his desire for a five-year deal,
- The Cardinals view the Marlins as "a real threat" for Albert Pujols.
- Marlins have made a strong offer to lefty Mark Buehrle