Ozzie Guillen says Hanley Ramirez will stay at third base even if Jose Reyes is injured

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Now that Hanley Ramirez has put to rest all the offseason speculation about his willingness to play third base the next question is whether the Marlins would move him back to shortstop if Jose Reyes is on the disabled list.

Ozzie Guillen gave a pretty adamant “no” to that question today, telling Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald:

I won’t play with Hanley’s mind. It’s going to be hard for him to move to shortstop, and then when Reyes is ready, back to third base. Then we’re abusing this kid and we don’t respect him.

So who would step in at shortstop if Reyes goes down? Guillen pointed to Emilio Bonifacio, who’s slated to be the Opening Day center fielder but has played 96 games at shortstop in the majors.

Of course, if Reyes were to get injured and the recovery timetable was more than a few weeks it wouldn’t be shocking to see Guillen change his mind. Ramirez has been a starting shortstop in the majors for 824 games and more than 7,000 innings, so it’s tough to imagine Guillen playing Bonifacio there every day for an extended period with Ramirez standing right next to him. For a game here or there, though, it makes some sense.

Mets sign Jose Bautista to a major league deal

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Update (5:55 PM ET): It’s official. The Mets have optioned Phillip Evans to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Bautista on the 25-man roster. Bautista will be available for Tuesday’s game against the Marlins.

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SNY’s Andy Martino reports that the Mets are close to a deal with free agent Jose Bautista. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as the Mets were rumored to be interested in him on Monday, a day after the Braves released him.

Bautista, 37, struggled to a .593 OPS in 40 plate appearances with the Braves. He’s coming off of his worst season as a regular, as he hit .203 in 157 games last year with the Blue Jays.

Bautista mostly played in the outfield for the Jays, but played third base for the Braves. The Mets need depth at both third base and in the outfield due to injuries to Todd Frazier, Yoenis Cespedes, and Juan Lagares.

It will be interesting to see who loses their roster spot to accomodate Bautista. I suggested earlier it should be Jose Reyes.