Marlins fans can come down from that ledge. It seems the team will not have to trade All-Star SS Hanley Ramirez after all. Ramirez said Friday that he will accept a move to third base in order to make room for Jose Reyes, who signed a long-term deal to join the Miami Marlins last month.
Hanley Ramirez Says He'll Move to 3B
Marlins SS to accept position change to accommodate addition of Jose Reyes, promises "a new Hanley"
By David Hill
Monday, Jan 2, 2012 Updated at 7:30 PM EST
Initial reports suggested that Ramirez was not pleased about the prospect of a position change, with some reports stating that he demanded a trade after the Marlins signed Reyes. New Marlins skipper Ozzie Guillen convinced him to change his mind. In December Guillen predicted Ramirez would eventually come around to the idea of playing third base.
"I have spoken with Guillen," Ramirez said. "What we want is to win with the Marlins. We will see what's going to happen with the position switch and everything else. If it's third base, OK. Wherever they put me to win, I will do so."
Reyes and Ramirez have won two of the last three National League batting titles. Ramirez' move to third base will give the Marlins one of the better-hitting infields in the NL. While the two are friendly, Reyes said recently that he had not heard from Ramirez since he joined the Marlins.
"Between Reyes and me there is no problem," Ramirez said. "I respect him very much. He is a great person."
Ramirez spoke while taking batting practice at a Santo Domingo stadium Friday. He missed the final two months of last season with a left shoulder injury that required surgery.
"The shoulder is responding, and it's 95 percent rehabbed," Ramirez said. "I'm happy and better than ever."
Ramirez said he was excited about the Marlins' recent big moves during the offseason, including the signings of Reyes, left-handed pitcher Mark Buehrle and All-Star closer Heath Bell.
"We are a new Marlins club," Ramirez said. "There's also a new Hanley. Good stuff is coming for next season."
Still, this is not the first time Marlins fans have heard about "a new Hanley." He may accept a move to third base, but it won't be certain that the oft-aggrieved Ramirez has turned over a new leaf until the 2012 season is well underway.