Alex Rodriguez for Hanley Ramirez? It's Not as Crazy as You Think

Peter AlfanoContributor IIMarch 1, 2012

There is no arguing that A-Rod is on the downside of his career
There is no arguing that A-Rod is on the downside of his careerNick Laham/Getty Images

We know all the reasons why an Alex Rodriguez for Hanley Ramirez trade probably won't happen, starting with the fact that A-Rod would have to give his consent.

Commissioner Bud Selig might also order random drug tests for the Marlins management team.

But hear me out. This is not just the kind of trade contemplated by amateur general managers in a fantasy league. This actually makes sense in a lot of ways.

First, let's not forget that the Marlins were willing to bestow a 10-year contract on Albert Pujols before he signed with the Los Angeles Angels. Pujols would have been 42 years old when the contract expired. Because the National League doesn't have the DH rule, he wouldn't have had an opportunity to slide into that role in his late 30s or get a few half-days off as he will with the Angels.

A-Rod is 36, but if he has recovered from the rash of injuries he suffered last season, he could probably give the Marlins three years of 140 games at third. Rodriguez was born in New York, but grew up in Miami and would be a crowd favorite in his hometown.

Teaming with Jose Reyes on the left side of the infield, A-Rod's loss of range wouldn't be as detrimental as it is with an equally aging Derek Jeter at shortstop for the Yankees. And while his statistics are trending down, he is still capable of batting .280 with 30 homers and 100 RBI. It's not enough to justify his $29 million salary, but it is better than most major league third basemen. 

Ramirez might prefer playing third base in the Bronx instead of Miami
Ramirez might prefer playing third base in the Bronx instead of MiamiNick Laham/Getty Images

Rodriguez might relish the role as the voice of experience, mentoring the Marlins' younger players as he continues his pursuit of the all-time home run record. He has 629 homers, 133 behind Barry Bonds. A-Rod was still belting 30 homers a year before last season, and in three years he might be closing in on the record.

That would be great publicity for the Marlins and a boon to attendance in their new stadium. Rodriguez has a $30 million marketing agreement for home run milestones as part of his contract with the Yankees, but how excited will Yankee fans be with his run at the record?

They have never warmed to A-Rod, and his poor postseason performances have only added to their displeasure. The steroid era has Yankee fans appreciating Roger Maris more than they ever did when he was in pinstripes.

Depending on the time of day, Ramirez is either disgruntled with having to move from short to third to accommodate Reyes or totally on board and excited about the Marlins' chances of contending in the NL East. But if Reyes becomes the crowd favorite in Miami that he was in New York with the Mets, how long will it take Ramirez to pout?

On the other hand, he might embrace playing third for the Yankees. He is only 28 and gives the aging Bronx Bombers an infusion of youth. He can be a handful, but wearing Yankee pinstripes makes it easier for players to conform. I can't see the Yankees thinking twice about this trade.

He is also not dealing from a position of strength. He had offseason shoulder surgery and was sidelined with back trouble last season. He played just 92 games and hit .243 with 10 HR and 45 RBI.

There is a matter of money. There always is. Rodriguez is owed $143 million over the next six years. Ramirez has three years left at $46.5 million. So the Yankees would have to pick up a considerable chunk of A-Rod's salary. But the prospect of seeing him and Jeter in the same infield after they become AARP members has to be frightening.

In three years, Ramirez will be 31 and a free agent. But the Yankees would have the financial resources to keep him. A-Rod will be 40 and either closing in on Bonds or washed up, in which case the Marlins could discuss a buyout with him.

And think about this: Will Ramirez remain with the Marlins when his contract expires? 

It's doubtful.

I may be suffering from Linsanity, but I don't think this trade scenario is as preposterous as it might sound.