Results tagged ‘ Aramis Ramirez ’

Phillies Interested in Ramirez

The Phillies are preparing for life without Jimmy Rollins.

Sources confirmed Monday they are seriously pursuing free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez.

Ruben Amaro Jr. has said the “shortstop situation” is his top remaining priority this offseason, but Rollins is seeking a five-year contract, while the Phillies want him on a three-year deal. Talks between the parties have not progressed and Amaro does not want to be caught flatfooted should they reach a stalemate and Rollins signs elsewhere. That would be especially problematic if the uncertainty surrounding Rollins lingers a couple more weeks and suitable alternatives fall off the board.

The Phillies have a history of not waiting forever in free agency, so they might reach a point where they feel they must move on from Rollins. They signed Jonathan Papelbon before they could reach an agreement with Ryan Madson and have moved quickly with others in the past. But it certainly would be interesting to see what would happen if they reach an agreement with Ramirez before Rollins, who is the face of the Phillies franchise.

It does not seem like an easy decision to make.

Ramirez would play third base, which is why the Phillies have been shopping Placido Polanco, according to FOXSports.com. Ramirez would replace Rollins’ bat in the lineup. Rollins offers more speed, but Ramirez offers more power. He hit .306 with 26 home runs, 93 RBIs and an .871 on-base-plus-slugging percentage last season with the Chicago Cubs. He also has a career .342 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage. <p>

So who would play shortstop for the Phillies, if Rollins is not back? It could be Freddy Galvis, who was the organization’s Minor League player of the year.  He is hitting .238 with 14 RBIs in 122 at-bats in Venezuelan Winter Ball. Another possibility would be free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who hit .241 with 15 home runs and 56 RBIs last season with the Atlanta Braves.

They would be clear downgrades from Rollins, who hit .268 with 16 homers and 63 RBIs last season and plays Gold Glove-caliber shortstop. But Ramirez’s bat would make up for the lost offense. The Phillies also believe Galvis is ready to play shortstop in the big leagues, although his bat likely would be a liability.

But this is a case of one or the other: the Phillies will sign one of them, not both.

Of course, everything can change quickly. The deals for Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee in recent offseasons each died on several occasions before becoming official. The same could happen with Rollins. They might seem far apart Monday, but things could close quickly with a productive phone call later in the week.

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