Dec 052011
Free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez

The Phillies could be pursuing Aramis Ramirez (photo: Jauerback)

Baseball’s winter meetings are underway, and that means it’s time to crank up the hot stove.  The latest Phillies rumors have them interested in trading Placido Polanco and replacing him with Cubs free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez.

The thinking is that Ramirez is a hedge against Jimmy Rollins leaving, per’s Todd Zolecki.  With Rollins reportedly still insisting on a five-year deal it looks like the Phillies are ready to move on.

Ramirez would be a great right handed power bat to add to the lineup.  With the Cubs in 2011, he hit .306 with 26 home runs and 93 RBIs with an .871 OPS.  For his career Ramirez has hit  .284 with 315 home runs, 1122 RBIs, a .342 OBP and a .500 SLG for an OPS of .842.

In addition to his power, another huge plus for Ramirez is his lack of strikeouts — definitely an aberration for a Phillies power hitter.  Over 149 games and 565 at bats in 2011, Ramirez struck out only 69 times. 

So a potential 2012 Phillies lineup (with an eventually healthy Ryan Howard and without JRoll or Polanco), could look like this:

1.  Shane Victorino – CF
2.  Chase Utley – 2B
3.  Hunter Pence – RF
4.  Ryan Howard – 1B
5.  Aramis Ramirez – 3B
6.  John Mayberry Jr. – LF
7.  Carlos Ruiz – C
8.  Wilson Valdez/Freddy Galvis (R) – SS

Not bad, especially considering the rotation is still headed by Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels, along with 2011 phenom Vance Worley and a presumably healthy Joe Blanton.

So while it would be painful to lose a team leader and driving force behing 2008’s World Bleeping Championship in Jimmy Rollins, it doesn’t necessarily mean the Phillies season will turn out like the Eagles.

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