How Well Does Hanley Fit With Top Targets?

Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

Los Angeles Angels

Potential Lineup:

  1. Kole Calhoun – RF – L
  2. Mike Trout – CF – R
  3. Albert Pujols – DH – R
  4. Hanley Ramirez – 3B – R
  5. C.J. Cron – 1B – R
  6. Geovany Soto – C – R
  7. Andrelton Simmons – SS – R
  8. Efren Navarro – LF – L
  9. Johnny Giavotella – 2B – R

Why Ramirez Fits:

As you see above, there are multiple holes to fill in the Angels’ lineup for 2016, following the free agent departures of third baseman David Freese and outfielders Matt Joyce, David Murphy, David DeJesus, and Shane Victorino. So adding Ramirez to this lineup definitely helps them fill a hole. It’s unlikely that he would play third base come Opening Day, but assuming the Angels don’t make any additional moves, this is where Ramirez fits in the lineup. Also, if we are under the assumption that Pujols will be absent on Opening Day due to his foot surgery, then Ramirez can fill the DH role in the lineup and recently signed Cliff Pennington can take over duties at the hot corner. Ramirez’s bat is one that could definitely help the Halos. As noted previously, he should come with a pay cut taken care of by the Red Sox, as well as little value heading to Boston in the deal.

Why Ramirez Doesn’t Fit:

The Angels need to improve on their defense in 2016, and they’ve already started that build by adding Simmons to play shortstop. Simmons — a former product of the Atlanta Braves — recorded +25 Defensive Runs Saved in 2015, which is 22 more than the Angels’ team total (+3). Keeping this in mind, we all know Ramirez is a horrible defender. Adding DH-only Ramirez with Cron and Pujols — who will likely split time between first base and DH when Pujols is healthy — isn’t exactly a good fit. It will create a logjam when the Angels have other pressing needs, like adding a left-handed stick that can play outfield or third base (infielder Daniel Murphy and outfielder Jason Heyward come to mind) along with upgrading the pitching staff. Ramirez would fit better in Anaheim if he was at least average with the glove at third base or left field, but that’s certainly not the case.

Final Decision:

Hard pass. With the defensive struggles in Anaheim and clogged-up 1B-DH role, I just can’t see Ramirez being the best fit here. There are many other options the Angels could look at instead of Ramirez, like Murphy and Heyward noted above. If the Angels were to trade for Ramirez, it may end up going down just like Josh Hamilton — but this time, I doubt the Texas Rangers would just take Hanley off their hands with the Angels eating all the salary.

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