Discussion

Next $200M man Hanley Ramirez?

Updated: March 23, 2008, 1:13 PM ET
Our Enrique Rojas is reporting that Miguel Cabrera's negotiations on an eight-year, $153.3 million deal are all but finished, and as Tom Gage reports, the deal would be the largest in Detroit history. A couple of years ago, it was not unreasonable to think that Cabrera might have a chance to get the third $200 million-plus deal in history -- A-Rod has landed the first two -- but alas. The smart money now would be on Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins to be the next $200 million man.

Ramirez was arguably the best player in the National League last year, posting ridiculous numbers: 48 doubles, 29 homers (15 in the Marlins' enormous park), 6 triples, a .332 batting average and .562 slugging average and 51 stolen bases. And he's still just 24 years old, as he prepares for his third full season in the big leagues.

His salary next season should rival or perhaps surpass the $10 million arbitration award won by Ryan Howard this year, and assuming he stays healthy, he'll make enormous financial strides after that. It's possible the Marlins will pay big money to make him the centerpiece of their forthcoming ballpark, but if not, he'll have a big-market future in front of him, given the increasing disparity in the ability of big-market and small-market teams to pay elite stars like Ramirez. Both the Yankees and the Red Sox figure to be shopping around for their next shortstop within the next three years, which is about the time the Marlins would look to trade Ramirez if they can't sign him.

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