Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tigers interested in Aramis Ramirez

Jason Beck has confirmed an earlier report that the Tigers have inquired about former Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez, but he says there have been no negotiations as of yet.  I thought at the beginning of the off-season that the Tigers might have interest in Ramirez for for some good and not so good reasons.

Dave Dombrowski has said that he wouldn't be uncomfortable with a platoon of Don Kelly and Brandon Inge at third, but they could certainly use more offense at the position.  It would become even more of a need if they are unable to upgrade at second.  The right-handed batting Ramirez can hit for both average in power batting .306 with 26 homers and a .871 OPS in 2011.  Over the last three years, he has hit .286, averaged 22 homers and posted a .835 OPS.  

On the negative side, Ramirez is 33 years old and has been injury prone averaging just 118 games per year since 2009.  By all accounts, he also is a below average defender.  His advanced fielding statistics were not pretty in 2011(-9 Total Zone, -9 UZR and -12 DRS) and have been sub-par since 2008.   

Ramirez  would seem to be the type of the big name hitter that Mike Illitch earlier suggested he would like to see, yet would not approach the $20 million per year contract which the Tigers probably can't afford.  His shortcomings - lack of patience at the plate and poor defense at a corner - are ones which the Tigers have been willing to tolerate if the offensive production is sufficient.   

It would probably take at least a three-year deal at over $40 million to sign him.  If Illitch is willing to add that kind of money and still allow Dombrowski to make a couple of upgrades elsewhere, then it might not be an awful move.   However, if their payroll stays the same, it doesn't sound like a move that would work out well.    

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