At first, New York Yankees fans seemingly only had to worry about the Toronto Blue Jays trading for Cleveland Guardians star Jose Ramirez, who was believed to be next out the door after Francisco Lindor was shipped to the Mets.
Toronto attempted to land Ramirez at the July deadline, but couldn’t come to a deal with the Guardians. Nonetheless, insiders believe their interest in the switch-hitting slugger remains … and now the market has potentially expanded.
Usually that would be a good thing. More competition for the Jays to either have the price driven up on them or lose out on Ramirez altogether. The only problem is that if the latter were to occur, it still wouldn’t be good news for the Yankees.
ESPN’s Buster Olney recently published a column with some industry insight (subscription required) and mentioned two other Yankees’ rivals as potential landing spots for Ramirez.
Once a new collective bargaining agreement is ratified, Olney (and the rest of the world) believes teams will once again check on on the availability and price tag of Ramirez.
Who will check in, though? Oh, great … the Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros, Olney posits.
Jose Ramirez’s rumored landing spots are bad news for the Yankees.
"“His contract is so favorable for Cleveland that generating an acceptable offer of prospects might be almost impossible — and the franchise, steeped in pitching, may choose to open its next season under their new name of the Guardians with Ramirez cemented into their infield. But as clubs looking for infielders (like the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Astros) weigh their options, they’ll at least pose the appropriate questions about Ramirez.”"
OK. now let’s logically break this down. Ramirez is an immediate fit for the Blue Jays. It’s obvious. It’s possible. And it would be a blow to the Yankees if it happened. But how about the Red Sox and Astros?
Boston has no opening at third base or second base at the moment — and Ramirez hasn’t played second base in three seasons, so it’s doubtful teams will seriously look to trade for him and use him at an unfamiliar spot on a full-time basis. For this to come to fruition for the Sox, they’d have to move a lot of players around (some have thought perhaps a move to first base for Rafael Devers?) and completely alter the current makeup that helped them reach the ALCS last year.
Additionally, general manager Chaim Bloom likely won’t be keen on surrendering top assets for two years of Ramirez despite his team-friendly options that remain.
As for the Astros, such a move would require shifting, but not nearly as overarching as what Boston would have to do. In this scenario, moving Alex Bregman over to short (where he’s a good defender and has logged 129 career MLB games at the position after coming up as a shortstop in the Astros’ farm system), leaving Jose Altuve at second and inserting Ramirez at third would be the likely outcome. But if the Astros are still hoping to retain Correa and don’t feel it’s prudent to have Bregman switch positions at this point in his career, they might lose out on Ramirez, being that the trade market is expected to move fast once the lockout is lifted. Then again, they could have this all planned out and premeditated as they wait for the bell.
As of now, it’d probably most responsible to only fret about Toronto’s potential endeavors here. But fans should not like that Boston and Houston are also considered destinations for the three-time Silver Slugger as we near the start of a new season.