5* More Free Agents The Yankees Should Avoid This Winter
Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
#2. Hanley Ramirez, Shortstop/Third Base
I am fully aware that the Yankees need a major boost on offense next season. Free agent left side infielder Hanley Ramirez is not that answer. It’s hard to validate handing megabucks to a guy that in two of the past five years didn’t even play in 100 games–and he was in his 20s. What’s he going to be like when he enters the latter stages of his career? And don’t think for one minute he’s only going to sign a three or four-year deal.
Here’s the other thing: he’s simply not that big of an offensive force. I remember for a couple of seasons, when he was around the first or second picks in everyone’s fantasy drafts and I was left scratching my head. Do you know without looking how many 100 RBI seasons Ramirez has had in his career? How about 30 home run seasons? Or 25 home run seasons? How about 1, 1, and 2. That’s not worth the cabbage Hanley and his agent Adam Katz are expecting this winter. To make matters worse, if his bat wasn’t overrated, his glove is well, not elite.
Hanley’s DRS (defensive runs saved) per Fangraphs, has been in the negative in four of the past five seasons. That means he’s a poor defensive shortstop. His ultimate zone rating or UZR, was in the double digit negatives at -10.3 this past season. The Yankees need a shortstop, not a piece of Swiss cheese in the middle portion of their infield. In comparison, during Derek Jeter‘s final season in the Bronx, his UZR was only a -8.3. Jeter was never considered a great range defender, but rather a smart defender. The same has yet to be said about Ramirez.
So, combine the inability to stay healthy, the lack of offensive output, poor defense and the years and money he’ll demand, Hanley Ramirez finished as the #2 free agent the Yankees should avoid this winter.