Interestingly enough, both the Cardinals and the Tigers could be in the market for a shortstop this week.
The White Sox declined.
First, I don't know why the Cardinals offered Martinez for Ramirez. The 21 year-old Martinez has been compared to Pedro Martinez numerous times as the six-foot righthander has a fastball that tops out in the upper 90s to go along with a plus curveball and a changeup that dies at the plate. Scouts believe he can be a top-of-the-rotation pitcher in the future. This season between Double-A and Triple-A, Martinez is 4-2 with a 2.05 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP in 11 starts.
Second, why would the White Sox decline? Ramirez turns 32 in September and is putting in a decent year but has clearly declined from his breakout rookie season in 2008 when he hit .290/.317/.475 with 21 home runs and 77 RBIs. He is hitting .281/.307/.353 with one home run and 23 RBIs in 97 games this season. He is signed for $9.5 million next season and $10 million for 2015 with a $10 million team option for 2016.
Now, Ramirez is a solid shortstop but he has never been to an All-Star Game and never won a Gold Glove. If the Cardinals are looking for a former NL MVP, three-time All-Star, and four-time (and reigning) Gold Glove shortstop, the might want to give Ruben Amaro Jr. a call.
Rollins, 34, is having a down year by his standards hitting just .258/.317/.352 with five home runs and 31 RBIs in 100 games. He has struggled to find his power this year but hit 23 home runs with 68 RBIs last year for the Phillies. Rollins is signed for the next two seasons at $11 million per year with a vesting option for 2016 if he reaches 600 plate appearances in 2014 or 1,100 plate appearances between 2013-14 and doesn't finish 2014 on the disabled list.
As for the Tigers, they already have a 2013 All-Star at shortstop in Jhonny [sic] Peralta but who knows for how long. Peralta's name has been linked to the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal which means that he could likely be suspended at any point in the near future. ESPN's Jim Bowden mentions that Ramirez and Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan are likely candidates for the Tigers to potentially replace Peralta.
Philliedelphia's Frank Klose threw out the idea of Rollins to the Tigers as a possibility. It does make sense from the Tigers standpoint as they are poised for another run at a World Series after getting there last season.
Two questions arise in the Rollins to Detroit scenario. First, who would the Phillies be able to get in return? Second, and perhaps equally as important, do the Tigers feel that their lineup is deep enough to overcome the loss of Peralta without adding an impact player like Rollins?
I have no issue with trading Rollins if the Phillies ultimately decide that they are going to sell and "re-tool" for the future. He has been a cornerstone for the Phillies for well-over a decade but the Phillies have to move on eventually and, if the price is right, Rollins is certainly a prime candidate to pack his bags.
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