Tag:Jose Reyes
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:16 pm
 

Marlins' Ramirez still mum about move to third

Hanley Ramirez

By C. Trent Rosecrans


It sounds like the Marlins are doing everything they can to help Hanley Ramirez adjust to the thought of playing third base -- or trying to drive up the price for him by making it appear they aren't looking to trade the disgruntled former shortstop who has been pushed aside for free-agent signee Jose Reyes.

"It may take a little time for him to get comfortable" with the idea of moving, Marlins president Larry Beinfest told the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson.

Beinfest said he wouldn't divulge specifics about his discussions with Ramirez, but did note that he's talked to Ramirez quite a bit. He notes Ramirez is excited to play for new manager Ozzie Guillen, who may just have to convince him to man up and accept the move. Beinfest said it much nicer, noting Ramirez's "pride."

"Even though we communicated with him and let him know what our intentions were in terms of Jose, he was the shortstop for six years, a very good one," Beinfest said. "We've asked him to move to third. Sometimes it takes a little time for things to sink in. I think he realizes we're a better team with Jose."

It's pretty hard not to come to that conclusion. Ramirez has looked more and more like a third baseman, physically, in recent years and the 28-year-old Reyes is easily superior to Ramirez defensively -- and even if the two were equal, Ramirez is more suited to third than Reyes.

An official told Jackson that the team isn't pressuring Ramirez, but would like him to publicly announce he was willing to move, but it's still two months before pitchers and catchers report, so there's no real hurry to do so -- or hurt his feelings by pressing the situation. The team can let Guillen talk to him and slowly sell him on the idea.

One person who hasn't talked to Ramirez is Reyes.

"I think he wants to be here," Reyes told Jackson. "He wants to win. I want to win, too. Hanley is one of the best players in the game. We are very good friends. I'm going to tell him I'm very excited to play with him. I think we can be one of the best left sides of the infields in history."

The Yankees had the same problem -- if you call two superstars on one team a "problem" -- when Alex Rodriguez joined the team and deferred to the incumbent, Derek Jeter at short. That worked out, in part because one player put his ego aside (if even temporarily) to make the move. If Ramirez won't do that, the Marlins could be stuck with another pouting star and appear desperate to deal him. If they keep his pouting under wraps and remain steadfast in their public stance that he'll be fine, they get a semblance of leverage in a trade. Otherwise, he's a player without a position and an attitude problem -- both things that hurt his trade value.

In the end, it looks like this will all work out, but there's two months until anyone's actually in uniform, so this is what we have to talk about.

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Posted on: December 9, 2011 3:44 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 3:46 pm
 

Marlins giving mixed signals on Fielder

Prince Fielder

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Despite statements that made it sound otherwise, the Marlins may not necessarily be out of the running for Prince Fielder.

While team president David Samson said the team never "pinpointed" Fielder, owner Jeffrey Loria didn't rule him out when asked by Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.

"I don't know about that," Loria told Capozzi. "I don't know. We'll see."

Earlier during the press conference to introduce Mark Buehrle, Samson was asked if the team turned its attention to Fielder after losing out to Albert Pujols.

"We withdrew (the Pujols) offer once we signed Buehrle," Samson said (via Capozzi). "We never had pinpointed Fielder by any stretch at all. It was always Albert from the beginning as someone we were gonna look at. The number one priority was Jose (Reyes) on the position side and Mark on the pitching side.

"Albert Pujols was an interesting fit if it worked at our parameters and it didn't. We moved on. We never viewed Prince the way we viewed Albert, either on or off the field. Albert Pujols is the best hitter of our generation, your generation and my son's generation. There's Albert and then there's everyone else when it comes to that type of franchise-changing contract."

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Posted on: December 8, 2011 2:59 pm
 

Angels swoop in, steal Marlins thunder -- for now



By Matt Snyder


DALLAS -- In one fell swoop, the Miami Marlins had their thunder stolen.

First, let's set the scene.

The annual Major League Baseball Winter Meetings always come to a close on a Thursday. In most years, the hotel lobby is hopping like mad for Monday through Wednesday but is a veritable ghost town come post-lunch time Thursday. There's the Rule 5 Draft Thursday morning, and by late afternoon most writers are either already home or preparing to fly out.

At about 7 a.m. Thursday morning, the Marlins were the huge story of the Winter Meetings. Not only had they landed a trio of All-Stars in Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell -- committing $191 million in future payroll to the three -- but they were also attached to rumors on Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson and sometimes even Prince Fielder throughout the week. When Marlins' brass Jeffrey Loria, Larry Beinfest and David Samson walked through the lobby earlier in the week, a flock of reporters and cameramen were following them like paparazzi clings to Kim Kardashian or Brad Pitt. New manager Ozzie Guillen had a Joker-like permanent smile on his face. The Marlins were, as one writer remarked on Twitter, the "belles of the ball."

MLB Winter Meetings
Thursday morning, however, the Angels went out and signed the biggest name in baseball: Albert Pujols. Then, within minutes, they added All-Star starting pitcher C.J. Wilson. New Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto held a press conference to announce both signings and field questions.

And when everyone leaves the meetings for good, the top team that will stick out in everyone's mind is the Los Angeles Angels, not the Miami Marlins.

This was not what owner Jeffrey Loria wanted. This was supposed to be the Marlins' time. They are moving into a new stadium that they'd waited on for years. They have a new name and new uniforms. They want people to buy them as legitimate contenders and take them seriously. They very well could be contenders and might be transforming into a legitimate large-market team, but the thunder of the three signings has been completely stolen by the already-large-market Angels swooping in and getting a bigger star position player and a better starting pitcher than the Marlins landed.

Will this anger the Marlins, causing them to go hard after Prince Fielder -- a player most reported was not on their radar at this time Wednesday? It's hard to tell.

But for now, the Marlins get second billing at these Winter Meetings. The Angels were the top dog.

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Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:25 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 2:09 pm
 

Reyes stays positive about Mets' lack of interest



By Matt Snyder


DALLAS -- All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes was officially introduced as a member of the Miami Marlins in a Wednesday press conference, yet most of the questions he fielded were about his old team: The New York Mets.

Reyes played parts of nine seasons with the Mets, racking up 735 runs, 370 steals, 99 triples and four All-Star trips. He led the NL in triples four times, steals three times, hits once and batting average once. He was a frontrunner for the NL MVP before falling injured in 2011.

Yet Reyes revealed that the Mets never really made what he considered a serious deal. When a reporter mentioned the Mets never having made a "concrete" offer, Reyes did not dispute the notion. Simply, at least from the perspective of Reyes, the Mets just let him walk away without a fight.

"The Mets didn't call, they didn't say anything, so that's why I'm here today," he said.

Yet instead of talking bad about his former club, Reyes was nothing but gracious.

"I'm not going to say disappointed because they have their choices," Reyes said, while wearing his new Marlins' jersey. "I was a free agent. But like I say, I have to appreciate the Mets for giving me the opportunity to play in the Big Leagues. Right now I'm playing for the Miami Marlins, so I'm part of this family now, so I have to move on."

In addition to the Mets' seeming lack of a legitimate offer, Reyes was also very taken with how much more the Marlins seemed to covet his services. They met with him the literal minute they were allowed to.

MLB Winter Meetings
"Those guys, they came from Miami to see me at 12:01 [a.m., the night they were officially allowed to do so]," Reyes said. "So that was huge for me. They told me from that time they want me there."

Since 2004, Reyes has played on the left side of the infield with fellow All-Star David Wright. Reyes took the opportunity Wednesday to wish his friend well.

"I wish all the best for him," Reyes said of Wright. "He's a great player, and I think he's going to be fine because he's the guy who works hard every day. Last year has been a tough year for him because he got hurt, but I think he's going to be bounce back this year. So hopefully he'll have a good year."

All in all, Reyes was all smiles and positivity, despite having been shown the door by the only team he's ever known. Evidently that's what a nine-figure contract will do for you.

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Posted on: December 5, 2011 5:06 pm
 

'Super-professional' Ramirez to move to 3B



By Danny Knobler


DALLAS -- Once more, Jeffrey Loria said it won't be a problem. Once more, he insisted that Hanley Ramirez will accept the move to third base forced by the Marlins' signing of free-agent shortstop Jose Reyes.

Do you believe him?

"Hanley is a super-professional," Loria, the Marlins owner, said Monday. "We will work with him, make everything comfortable for him."

They won't be trading him. Loria loves Ramirez, and considers him part of the plan, part of the core. They won't, for now, be moving him to center field, although the Marlins have a need there and some opposing scouts think Ramirez would be just the guy to fill it.

He's the new third baseman, and if there was any doubt, new closer Heath Bell said out loud Monday that third base now belongs to Hanley.

Will he be happy?

Who knows, but new manager Ozzie Guillen could face his first big challenge in making it work.

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Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:12 am
 

Large-market Marlins? It's entirely possible



By Matt Snyder

DALLAS -- Remember back when the Marlins pushed their chips to the center of the table, going large for free agents and eventually winning the 1997 World Series?

Remember the following season, when the Marlins decided they couldn't afford the high-priced talent and went firesale, leading to a 108-loss season -- the most losses ever for a team coming off a World Series championship?

Of course you do. That's why it's easy to see the reactions to the Marlins signing Heath Bell and Jose Reyes (and maybe a few more big names).

It won't last. This is window dressing. They'll be having another firesale in two years.

I'm not so sure. Granted, it's entirely possible. After all, if the attendance continues to be lackluster, the Marlins can't afford to operate at the level they're hoping to reach. But there are two reasons to believe this time around it's actually legitimate.

Hot Stove Season
1. Market size. The Marlins don't play in Omaha or Albuquerque or Boise or Raleigh. There's nothing wrong with those places, but they are small markets. The Miami metropolitan area is not a small market. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area population is surpassed by only seven other metro areas: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Houston and Washington/Baltimore. And four of those seven areas share two ballclubs. Notice Boston, Detroit, San Francisco/Oakland, Minneapolis, Phoenix and St. Louis -- among many others -- are behind the Miami area. So this is absolutely an area with the tools to sustain a successful large-market baseball team.

2. The new stadium. Last time the Marlins went on a spending spree, there was no new stadium anywhere on the horizon. Owner Wayne Huizenga declared his intent to sell the team before the World Series run. There just wasn't enough revenue coming in to maintain one of the higher payrolls in baseball. Hence the 1998 firesale.

Now, here is the big question: Will the new stadium and new signings be enough to keep fanfare steady throughout the entire season and for seasons to come? We don't know the answer to that. If the Marlins average 30,000 fans per game -- as management believes they will -- they will become a large-market team for the long haul. It will be difficult to start thinking in that mindset, but that's the truth.

Of course, if attendance can't survive the initial expected bump in 2011 and dwindles back down to around 20,000 fans per game, having a payroll in nine figures simply isn't realistic. In that case, we'd be liable to see another firesale.

So what'll it be? Small-market or large-market Marlins? Time will tell. But it's at least interesting to imagine the latter. And it's finally realistic, too.

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Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:10 am
Edited on: December 5, 2011 12:39 am
 

Reyes rounds out an impressive Marlins lineup

Jose Reyes Hanley Ramierez

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The winter meetings haven't officially started and the Marlins already seem to have locked up the Hot Stove League title with the signings of Jose Reyes and Heath Bell -- and they could add more.

So what does this mean to the product on the field come April? Well, the rotation may still need some tinkering, but the lineup -- assuming everyone is healthy -- appears stout.

With Reyes, let's look at the new-look Miami Marlins lineup:

Jose Reyes1. Jose Reyes, SS

When healthy, Reyes is the best leadoff hitter in the game, and one of the few real difference-makers in the top spot of the lineup. Reyes has a career .341 OBP and 370 stolen bases -- good for eighth among active players, with only one of the other players ahead of him on the list in his 20s, like the 28-year-old Reyes. Reyes is coming off his first career batting title, hitting .337/.384/.493 in 2011 and also led the league in triples (16) for the fourth time in his career. The knock on Reyes, though, is his ability to stay on the field. After playing in at least 153 games from 2005-2008, he played in just 36 games in 2009, 133 in 2010 and 126 last season. But when healthy, few in the game are as good as he is.

Omar Infante2. Omar Infante, 2B

While Infante didn't return to his All-Star form from a year before in 2011, he's a steady second baseman, if not exactly Dan Uggla. Infante hit .276/.315/.382 and led the league with 17 sacrifices if you're into that kind of thing. He has a career .318 OBP, but had a .353 OBP from 2008-2010 with the Braves. He's a solid No. 2 batter, especially sandwiched between Reyes and Hanley Ramirez.

Hanley Ramirez3. Hanley Ramirez, 3B

Ramirez will have to move to third to make room for Reyes, something he's been reluctant to do -- but it's probably best for him and the Marlins. At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, he's physically more of a third baseman than a shortstop and the team's defense should benefit from the switch. The Marlins had been in the market for a third baseman and all of a sudden they have one with a .306/.380/.506 career split with 134 home runs in six seasons -- and will be just 28 when the season starts. With Reyes and Ramirez, the Marlins now have batting champs from two of the last three seasons in their lineup.

Mike Stanton4. Mike Stanton, RF

Perhaps the most exciting young player in the game, Stanton hit 34 home runs last season in his first full season, while hitting an impressive .262/.356/.537 overall. In an era where there seems to be fewer young power hitters, Stanton has it in spades. He's also proven to be an outstanding defensive outfielder and is under team control for several more years.

Logan Morrison5. Logan Morrison, LF

Morrison, 24 had a disappointing sophomore season, even finding himself sent to Triple-A in August. Even with the trip to the minors, he put up a .247/.330/.468 line with 23 home runs and 72 RBI. That's not ideal, but it's not bad for a 23-year-old in his second season in the majors, especially one that put up a .283/.390/.447 line as a rookie. He was also much better in the first half, hitting .267/.343/.489. The talent is there and he should get better.

Gaby Sanchez6. Gaby Sanchez, 1B

Sanchez was lost in the monster National League rookie class of 2010, but still put together a solid rookie season and pretty much equaled it in his second season, hitting .266/.352/.427 with 19 home runs in 2011. Sanchez is 28, the same age as Reyes and Ramirez, but with much less experience.

Emilio Bonifacio7. Emilio Bonifacio, CF

A switch-hitter, the speedy Bonifacio played all three outfield spots, as well as second, shortstop and third last season for the Marlins, but the team's biggest need now is center field, and he can stick there now that he doesn't need to fill in at any point for Ramirez at short. Bonifacio put up a .296/.360/.393 line last season and stole 40 bases. The team also has former Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan, who started 64 games in center last season, but struggled, hitting just .230/.296/.368 and is expected to start next season in Triple-A.

John Buck8. John Buck, C

The oldest player in this lineup, Buck is just 31. While not an offensive superstar, he's a solid catcher and did put up a .316 OBP last season and hit 16 home runs. He also hit 20 homers in 2010 for the Blue Jays.

That's a pretty good lineup, and also a young one -- only Buck and Infante will be 30 or older at the start of next season. That said, the Marlins may not be done. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports Miami is expected to make "an aggressive run" at Albert Pujols. As good as the Marlins' lineup looks now, that could push it into a different stratosphere. Even without Pujols, that thing in center field could get a workout at the Marlins' new park.

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Posted on: December 4, 2011 7:06 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2011 12:37 am
 

Marlins, Reyes agree to deal

Jose Reyes

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The winter meetings don't officially start until Monday, but the hot stove heated up Sunday as free-agent shortstop Jose Reyes has agreed to a six-year, $106 million contract with the Miami Marlins, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler confirms. Reyes will not have a no-trade clause, as is the Marlins' policy.

Once reports surfaced on Sunday that the Marlins had upped their offer north of $100 million, it became obvious the Mets couldn't stay in the bidding, with general manager Sandy Alderson coming out and saying as much in an impromptu press conference at the winter meetings in Dallas. 

Hot Stove Season

Along with the Mets, the Brewers were interested in signing Reyes, but sources had told CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller that the Marlins were optimistic they could sign Reyes, and they did just that when they outbid everyone. How much did they outbid their competitors? Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweeted that the Mets and Brewers weren't willing to offer more than $75-$80 million over six years. Neither team was interested in going seven years for the 28-year-old because of his history of injuries.

Miami already had one of the game's premier shortstops, but like when the Yankees acquired Alex Rodriguez, the Marlins will move Hanley Ramirez to third base to make room for Reyes.

Miami has already agreed to a contract with closer Heath Bell and seems ready to be the offseason's biggest spender as it readies to open its new ballpark in April. The team is still in the running for veteran left-hander Mark Buehrle and even possibly C.J. Wilson. Miami could also sign Cuban center fielder Yoennis Cespedes, another high-ticket free agent.

Keep track of all the free agent moves with the CBSSports.com Free Agent Tracker. 

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com