Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Answer?

Now that the managing staff, er I mean coaching staff, is in place, the next order of business for the Phillies is finding a third baseman, a number five hitter who can protect Ryan Howard and another power hitter if they finally move Pat Burrell.

The most intriguing player out there, one who could solve all of these problems, is Aramis Ramirez . But the word on the Cubs third baseman is not all positive.

The blog Cubbiepalooza noted prior to the 2006 season that Ramirez frequently suffered numerous lower body injuries, missed a lot of games, had a questionable work ethic, and was a mediocre fielder. The author concluded his post by announcing that despite all that, he expected Ramirez to have a “monster” year at the plate, improve his conditioning and appear in more games. The author was on the money.

A suburban Chicago newspaper columninst echoed the negative portions of the preceding assessment after the 2006 season, one in which Ramirez appeared in157 games, batted .291 with 38 homers. 119 rbi’s and an OBP of .352. In his piece Mike Imrem described Ramirez this way:

If Ramirez stays, the Cubs have his 38 home runs and 119 runs batted in. If he goes, they’re rid of a guy who appears lazy and disinterested until a new contract is at stake.

Admittedly, that’s a whole lotta’ baggage for one player to carry, but the Phils should take a chance anyway if Ramirez opts out of his Chicago contract and makes himself available. The prospect of an infield of Ramirez, Rollins, Utley and Howard, all in their late ‘20’s, is too good to pass up.

The whole point might be moot if Ramirez chooses to re-sign with the Cubs. I imagine Pat Gillick has to tread very lightly here to avoid the slightest whiff of tampering, but I hope someone from Philadelphia has Ramirez’ cell phone number if not his ear.


Tom Goodman said...

No sooner did I write that Gillick needs to be circumspect if he's interested in Ramirez than I read on ESPN's site that Lou Piniella, the new Cubs manager (thank god he wasn't hired here) openly expressed an interest in acquiring A-Rod from the Yankees. So much for tampering. On the other hand, are the stars lining up?

J. Weitzel said...

Ramirez and A-Rod figure to be the 2006-2007 hot stove version of Bobby Abreu. It's a developing situation worth watching, especially since the Phillies have Ramirez in their sights according to the Daily News. There are a couple other situations worth monitoring. The White Sox had interest in reacquiring Rowand last season already, and could be in position to move Joe Crede. Adrian Beltre in Seattle could also become available, but the M's need to absorb some of his contract. I'd take Beltre and his 25 homers. But just like last season with Thome, I think a lot of this hinges on whether they can move Pat Burrell's contract.

J. Weitzel said...

Just as a follow-up, a deal involving A-Rod to the Cubs would probably involved the Yankees getting A-Ram.

Tom Goodman said...

Lou may want him, but I seriously doubt A-Rod is leaving NY. Why? He seems determined to prove he can handle the local fans and media. Call it ego (and you would be correct to do so) or anything else that comes to mind, but at this stage everything A-Rod has been saying indicates he isn't about to let any of the pressure run him out of town.

BenJah said...

aram would be a horrible choice for the phils. he will cost way too much, he performs at his best only when his contract is on the line, there are innumerable stories about his bad personality and work ethic....the reason most phans want him is b/c he's the biggest name. i would much rather get a guy who doesn't strike out, plays great D, and is a positive force in the clubhouse. yes, polanco is that guy! but there are others too

Tom Goodman said...

I am being persuaded Joe Crede might be the better answer by a lot of the negatives A-Ram might bring.

As for Placido, ah, well, we had our chance but as much as I love his approach to the game, he isn't the guy who can bat behind Howard.

Corey & Carson said...

As far as striking out, A-Ram is actually a pretty good contact hitter for a power hitter (63 k's in 594 ab's, that's awesome), and we need some who makes contact behind Howard.

The other negatives being mentioned could or couldn not play a role in how Ramirez would help or hurt the Phillies. I see far more positives than negatives though.