Last week it was reported that several teams were targeting top free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez. While the level of interest among the teams was unknown, it now appears that the Philadelphia Phillies have expressed “serious interest” in Ramirez. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com speculates that the Phillies may look at Ramirez as a “backup plan” if they are unable to re-sign shortstop Jimmy Rollins. In a related rumor, Ken Rosenthol of Fox Sports is reporting that the Phillies are actively shopping third baseman Placido Polanco to make room for the possible acquisition of Ramirez.
If the Phillies do not re-sign Rollins this winter that would leave them set to enter the 2012 season with a left side of the infield that would include Rollins’ replacement and Placido Polanco. While Polanco has been a productive player for Philadelphia, he is coming off of offseason hernia surgery and posted an OPS of .674 in 2011.
Polanco’s 2011 production (or lack thereof), his age and his remaining salary may make him a hard sell on the trade market. The 36-year-old has $6.25 million coming to him in 2012 and at least a $1 million buyout in 2013. Polanco has a solid career line of .301/.346/.406 but his numbers have declined each season since 2007.
Of course this could be an attempt by the Phillies to put a little pressure on Rollins. Though they have said Rollins is their primary target remaining on the free agent market, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. figures to be willing to wait around for only so long. The Cardinals and Brewers are reportedly Philadelphia’s primary competition for Rollins.
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