Marlins don't anticipate problems with Hanley

Marlins don't anticipate problems with Hanley

Marlins don't anticipate problems with Hanley
DALLAS -- As the Marlins were welcoming Jose Reyes as their new shortstop at the Winter Meetings on Wednesday, Hanley Ramirez continued rehabbing his left shoulder in South Florida.

Along with wearing new uniforms in a new ballpark, the Marlins now have a new left side of their infield. It features two players who have combined to be part of seven All-Star Games. Ramirez, a three-time starting All-Star shortstop, will now slide over and play third base.

Having two dynamic impact players is a nice problem to have. And Marlins president David Samson put to rest any notion Miami is thinking about trading Ramirez. On Wednesday, team officials had a meeting with Ramirez's agent, Adam Katz. But it didn't deal with moving or restructuring Ramirez's contract.

"During the course of that meeting, we talked about his client, Hanley Ramirez," Samson said. "We talked about how we had spoken with Hanley, and how Hanley and Jose will form an All-Star left side of the infield. We can't wait for that."

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The exchange included discussions on the batting order and other baseball-related items.

"He didn't ask to restructure [Ramirez's] contract," Samson said. "It didn't come up once, ever. It's the most unbelievable thing. We're not angry with him. Hanley's not angry with us. Hanley's representatives are not angry with us."

There was speculation that Ramirez wasn't happy about changing positions. Ramirez, who will turn 28 later this month, has been a shortstop from the time he first wore a glove. He has played shortstop at every level -- from a youngster in the Dominican Republic, through his first six years in the big leagues.

Speaking to reporters last month, Ramirez repeated: "I'm a shortstop."

"Hanley is a key to our team," Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. "He has been. He is a unique talent, we recognize that. We recognize his ability. We recognize his achievement already in a very young career.

"We have dealt with him respectfully and timely in our communications, and we have every intention of him being our third baseman alongside Jose, pairing to be the best left side of the infield in baseball without peer."

Manager Ozzie Guillen noted that it's his job to make sure the Reyes-Ramirez combination will work.

"It's a privilege," Guillen said. "We have one of the best players in the game on the left side of the field, and it's exciting. We have people who can run and help you win in so many different ways. It'll make the lineup very strong, and it's an honor to manage those guys."

About 30 seconds after the Marlins reached agreement with Reyes on Sunday night, team owner Jeffrey Loria noted that he was on the phone with Ramirez.

"It was an upbeat conversation I had with him," Loria said.

Ramirez is coming off an injury-plagued 2011, where he batted .243 with 10 homers and 45 RBIs in 92 games. He underwent surgery on his left shoulder in September, and the expectation is that he will be ready for Opening Day.

Ramirez is in Miami working out with Miguel Cabrera, his former teammate and current All-Star with the Tigers.

Reyes had not talked with Ramirez since he agreed to terms on Sunday.

"I know he's been busy doing the rehab," Reyes said. "We are friends. I'm looking forward to being with him. Hanley is one of the best players in the game. He's a great guy, too.

"I know he wants to win, too. With him at third base and the pitchers we have, we can be unbelievable. He's going to do the best for the team. I want to do the best for the team, too. I think we're going to be fine, and see what happens."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.