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How Much Does Hanley Ramirez Cost?

Okay…so the question of the season is…What is it going to take to get Hanley Ramirez in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform? As far as trades go, here are the nigh-untouchables from the perspective of the organization:

1. Albert Pujols
2. Yadier Molina
3. Chris Carpentar
4. Colby Rasmus
5. Adam Wainwright

That’s it…you have to think the organization sees everyone else as expendable in the right deal…but – here is a list of additional guys I’m unwilling to part with at this point:

1. Rick Ankiel
2. Skip Schumaker
3. Jamie Garcia
4. Either Chris Perez or Jason Motte (gotta’ keep one of ’em)

I would hate to see anyone go, but I really think Skip and Ank have a future with this team…especially if we get Ramirez with Skip’s ability to get on base in front of him. So…the question is…what kind of package are we willing to put together to pull Ramirez from Florida?

Just a refresher (in case some of you are unaware), Ramirez is a studly shortstop with a big bat and a high average. He’s arbitration eligible after this season, and we all know the Marlins – they’ve already said they won’t increase payroll until the new ballpark is open (about 3 years from now). It also just so happens that many of their big names are also up for arbitration…and keeping Hanley Ramirez would mean saying goodbye to several of them (possibly including Uggla). So…a betting man would guess Ramirez makes the most sense for them to trade away for a group of young players.

Just for fun, I’m thinking something like the following package (off the top of my head):

1. Cesar Izturis (a veteran shortstop with good hands to help them finish the season)
2. Bryan Anderson (great hitter – but unusable as long as Yadi is in the picture)
3. Chris Perez (I’m going with Motte as the future closer – but if not, throw Motte in here instead)
4. Todd Wellemeyer
5. Brad Thompson or Anthony Reyes

That’s all for now…I know seeing names like Perez and Anderson in a trade are heart-breaking, but come on…we’ve got Motte to take over closer duties…a solid relief corp such as Franklin, McClellan, Springer, Flores, etc…and Yadi is solid for years to come…we gotta’ get a shortstop with power and they are in short supply (no pun intended)…

Now…having said all of that…once Colby comes up, we are going to have to trade away an outfielder…most likely either Skip (ouch) or Dunc (like him, but…)…so, if it takes an outfielder (other thank Ank or Skip) to close the deal, so be it…(but Barton could prove much too difficult to trade as a Rule 5 guy, not to mention predicting his worth and career at this point)…

Okay, okay…now it’s REALLY it for now…

GO CARDS!!!!

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