By Matt Snyder
Has new Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen successfully completed his first tough task as a manager? It sure sounds like it.
After the Marlins acquired shortstop Jose Reyes with a fat free agency contract, speculation swirled that incumbent shortstop Hanley Ramirez was angry with the situation -- and one report even suggested he demanded a trade. So Guillen was tasked with making Ramirez comfortable with the move. And here's a quote from Ramirez which directly covers the situation (from elnuevoherald.com via MLBTradeRumors.com):
"I've talked with Guillen, and what we both want is to win with the Marlins. When January arrives, we'll see what happens with the position change and everything else. If it's at third, fine. Wherever they put me, I'll do it in order to win."
So, at least for the time being, it sounds like Ramirez is going to move to third and be a team player.
Assuming everyone is healthy (and, yes, happy), the Marlins appear to have a pretty stout lineup. If no more moves are made, the opening day lineup could be:
2. Emilio Bonifacio, CF
3. Ramirez, 3B
4. Mike Stanton, RF
5. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
6. Logan Morrison, LF
7. Omar Infante, 2B
8. John Buck, C
9. Josh Johnson, SP
That's strong. Of course, the NL East looks to be very tough this season, as the Nationals are also on the rise and the Phillies and Braves both look to remain toward the top of the division. It's looking like the fourth-place team in the division is going to be a very good one.
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