It hasn't taken very long, but I know it's the truth: Hanley Ramirez has to stay a Boston Red Sox.
Come August, Ramirez better still be playing his baseball in the Red Sox organization. I don't care if Ben Sheets, or AJ Burnett, or Roger Clemens is available at the trade deadline this season. I just want Ramirez to stay a Sox.
So far this spring training I've seen Ramirez turn a triple play, two double plays, and hit a double on a blooper down the right field line - just to name a few things he's done. It's just a short list of what he's shown so far this spring training, and just a glimpse of his future.
The word that comes to mind when I see Ramirez make a great play seems to always be "impressive." He makes every play look effortless and simple. Every time he makes a putout and shows off one of his impressive skills: range, speed, fielding or arm strength, I have to think to myself, Why can't he play this year? He has the ability at the age of 21 to be playing every day in the major leagues.
At this point in Ramirez's career, I think Red Sox management has seen that he can play in the big leagues now. Theo Epstein sees it. And you know for sure he won't make the same mistake that he did when he traded Freddy Sanchez at the trade deadline for Jeff Suppan. So far, that trade hasn't worked for either team, as Suppan left us as a free agent and Sanchez has been hurt the majority of his time as a Pirate.
I'm not saying that Ramirez should be starting in Boston this season. I'm saying that he could start in Boston this year, but I just don't want him to be traded. I don't want a three-month loaner if it means we lose Ramirez. It's not worth it. Maybe he could find himself playing in Boston mid-season, or if someone gets hurt he could have a job. But by no means am I saying that he's better than Edgar Renteria or Mark Bellhorn, and that he should win a job out of spring training.
Are there fellow members of the Nation that back me with this? Or is a guy like Sheets (just to throw out a name) worth more than Ramirez? With Renteria at shortstop, is there no future for Ramirez at all in Boston? Meaning, we need to get rid of him now. I'd like to hear some thoughts from the rest of Red Sox Nation.