Burkhardt: Marlins confident they'll sign Jose Reyes

While the Marlins might ask Hanley Ramirez to move to centerfield, in “reality”, there’s no way Ramirez would do it, tweets Joe Frisaro of MLB.com

Original Post, 10:40 am:

According to SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt, sources say the Marlins are very confident they will sign Jose Reyes, as Miami views him as “the centerpiece of their entire offseason.”

Burkardt also says Hanley Ramirez is fine with shifting positions to make room for Reyes, however he may switch to center field as opposed to third base.

Last night, Dino Costa of SiriusXM Radio said Reyes will sign with the Marlins, contingent on Hanley Ramirez agreeing to switch positions. Last week, Ramirez said he would welcome the chance to play on the same infield as Reyes.

According to MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone, as of Sunday night, the Mets and Jose’s representatives had still not been in contact since he was free to negotiate with other teams.

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Matthew Cerrone (posted Nov. 13, 2011, at 6:10 pm): The way I understand it, Reyes refused to negotiate in season and was dead set on testing the open market. At the same time, the Mets had no interest in setting the market for Jose (despite wanting to re-sign him). And so, it made sense for all sides to let Reyes talk to other teams and then check back in after offers from other teams had been made. To me, unless the Marlins have abolsutly blown Reyes out of the water with a crazy offer, I can’t see how he wouldn’t at least give the Mets (and the Tigers and Phillies for that matter) the opportunity to counter (and, at the very least, hopefully increase his offer from the Marlins) … and since the Mets and Jose’s people have not been in contact of late, it doesn’t seem realistic that he would sign a deal this soon.

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Brian Erni (posted Nov. 14, 2011, at 11:04 am): A potential shift to center by Hanley would shock me. The idea that a shortstop’s skill set is easily transferable to an outfield position, especially one that is quite difficult to play, is one that I find hard to reconcile.  Kevin probably has some insight on what the Marlins are thinking here, but I think Miami’s mindset is flawed. From a Mets perspective, I would much rather see Ramirez shift to center than to third, because not only do I think it would prove to be a downgrade defensively, but I think Ramirez might find that doing something defensively for the first time at the Major League level might ultimately detract from his offense.

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Ramirez has never played the outfield in his professional career. In 852 Major League games, Ramirez has exclusively played shortstop. In 397 Minor League games, Ramirez played 382 at short, 11 at second base and 3 at third. His last appearance at third came in 2005 at Double A Portland.