Hanley Ramirez could be next.
According to various published reports, the former three-time All-Star and 2009 National League batting champion is being shopped around by the Marlins, who apparently aren’t asking for a lot in return. Some teams want the Marlins to pay a huge chunk of the $38.5 million Ramirez is due for the remainder of his contract.
“Hopefully, I can stay here,” Ramirez said Tuesday when asked about his future with the Marlins. “Otherwise, I just want to play and win.
“I don’t want to think about [trade rumors]. I just want to concentrate on what I do best — hit.”
The Marlins want young players in return, but want quality pieces — not a salary dump — an American League official said.
One player the Marlins could be interested in is Orioles Gold Glove outfielder Nick Markakis, 28, who has a career .294 average with runners in scoring position.
Markakis, 28, is due to make $35 million over the next 2 1/2 seasons — about equal to Ramirez.
Ramirez, who is hitting .246 with 14 homers and 46 RBI, is under contract through 2014.
Oakland, Baltimore, Boston, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto all reportedly have interest in Ramirez, who returned to the Marlins lineup Tuesday after missing three consecutive games with an infection of his right hand, which he injured after hitting a cooling fan in anger.
Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Carlos Lee and Randy Choate are also players the Marlins have been approached about. Lee and Choate are impending free agents after the season.
Manager Ozzie Guillen said Emilio Bonifacio will be the team’s everyday second baseman moving forward, and Justin Ruggiano will replace Bonifacio in center field. Left-hander Wade LeBlanc, meanwhile, will start Saturday against the San Diego Padres in place of Anibal Sanchez.
Outfielder Bryan Petersen and left-handed reliever Dan Jennings were the two players the Marlins recalled Tuesday to fill the slots left by Omar Infante and Sanchez.
“Maybe once and awhile we’ll have an emergency and put [ Donovan] Solano out there,” Guillen said of second base.
Guillen said while the Marlins “still have a base” and “people here to get this thing done,” he said the players have no one to blame but themselves for being in the position where trade rumors are rampant.
“The people in Miami are used to blaming the front office because they broke up the team [after the 1997 World Series],” Guillen said. “If anybody wants to blame anybody, blame the people wearing this uniform. Don’t blame the people wearing ties and sport coats. They do a great job. They did everything to keep this team together. They spent a lot of money, a lot of time.”
Coming upWednesday: Ricky Nolasco Tommy Hunter