Hanley Ramirez still hesitant about move to third base

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The Marlins have repeatedly said that they have no intention to trade Hanley Ramirez following the addition of shortstop Jose Reyes, but it’s clear that he’s not yet on board with moving to third base.

Marlins president Larry Beinfest made some interesting comments to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald yesterday, admitting that “it may take a little bit of time for him to get comfortable” with the idea of switching positions.

“The conversations we’ve had, we’re going to keep between us. But there’s been quite a bit of communication. He’s excited about playing for Ozzie Guillen. Ozzie is excited to have him. Everyone reacts to change differently.

“Even though we communicated with him and let him know what our intentions were in terms of Jose, he was the shortstop for six years, a very good one. We’ve asked him to move to third. Sometimes it just takes a little time for things to sink in. I think he recognizes we’re a better team with Jose.”

Another Marlins’ official told Jackson that they would like Ramirez to publicly endorse the signing of Reyes and a move to third base, but they haven’t pressured him to do so. The hope is that he’ll come around to the idea before spring training, but if the Marlins continue to face resistance, it stands to reason that they’ll explore the possibility of trading him.

Yankees acquire James Paxton from Mariners

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The Yankees announced that the club has acquired starter James Paxton from the Mariners in exchange for three prospects: pitcher Justus Sheffield, outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams, and pitcher Erik Swanson.

Paxton, 30, has been among the game’s better starters over the past few years. In 2018, he went 11-6 with a 3.76 ERA and a 208/42 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. The lefty has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining after earning $4.9 million this past season.

Sheffield, 22, is the headliner in the Mariners’ return. He made his major league debut in September for the Yankees, pitching 2 2/3 innings across three appearances. Two of those appearances were scoreless; in the third, he gave up a three-run home run to J.D. Martinez, certainly not an uncommon result among pitchers. MLB Pipeline rates Sheffield as the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect and No. 31 overall in baseball.

Thompson-Williams, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2016 draft. This past season, between Single-A Charleston and High-A Tampa, he hit .299/.363/.546 with 22 home runs, 74 RBI, 63 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases in 415 plate appearances. He was not among the Yankees’ top-30 prospects, per MLB Pipeline.

Swanson, 25, was selected by the Yankees in the eighth round of the 2014 draft. He spent most of his 2018 campaign between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Overall, he posted a 2.66 ERA with a 139/29 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings. MLB Pipeline rated him No. 22 in the Yankees’ system.

This trade comes as no surprise as the Yankees clearly wanted to upgrade the starting rotation and the Mariners seemed motivated to trade Paxton this offseason. To the Mariners’ credit, they got a solid return for Paxton, as Sheffield likely becomes the organization’s No. 1 prospect. The only worries about this trade for the Yankees is how Paxton will fare in the more hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium compared to the spacious Safeco Field, and Paxton’s durability. Paxton has made more than 20 starts in a season just twice in his career — the last two years (24 and 28). The Yankees are likely not done adding, however. Expect even more new faces before the start of spring training.