The Florida Marlins and shortstop Hanley Ramírez agreed on a contract extension for six years and $70 million, according to a source who spoke with ESPNdeportes.com.
"It's a very convenient agreement for both parties," said the source Friday night on condition of anonymity. "Hanley secures his financial future and the Marlins secure one of the most complete players in baseball for a relatively good price."
The contract will be finalized after Ramírez passes the customary physical.
An official announcement is expected to come as early as next week, according to Florida media reports.
This deal buys out three of Ramirez' free agent years. If I were Ramirez, I wouldn't want to be stuck with the Marlins for six more years, with or without the new stadium, but $70 million is a lot of money. Time will tell if this means the Marlins are going to start another building phase after trading stars like Miguel Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis, and Carlos Delgado in the past few years, or if they're just trying to buy some PR goodwill. Either way, they'll still need a massive infusion of cash to build a winner in the near future -- the pitching just isn't there, and their minor league system is merely decent.
As for Ramirez, $70 million is probably a pretty good deal for the Marlins, but it there are potential pitfalls. Ramirez is a terrible defender and won't be a shortstop in five years, so he needs to keep hitting.