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Hanley Ramirez's days could be numbered

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I know this was touched on earlier, but it is rearing its head again.

Hanley Ramirez may not be with the Marlins, should they have an opening day in a new stadium.

Not long after Marlins President David Samson delivered an upbeat stadium update ("it is very, very close") to his FanFest audience Saturday, one spectator asked whether the payroll would increase as soon as the ink on the agreement was dry.

Samson's response was more like when the concrete dried.

Not a good answer as it relates to shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who had hoped to cash in sooner rather than later. A season shy of arbitration eligibility, Ramirez stands to make another modest salary relative to his career numbers.

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"If they would have offered me $20 million after my first year I would have taken it, but we're not there any more," Ramirez said. "Let's see what happens in spring training. I have my goals and have an idea what my game is worth. I just have to keep working and not think about it."

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If Ramirez maintains his current trajectory, his earnings would explode in similar fashion. Going year-to-year with Ramirez, it's not inconceivable he'll be in line for a salary well north of $15 million by 2011, when the Marlins hope to open a new stadium.

The Marlins have a policy where they don't buyout arbitration years, or at least they won't until they can secure a new revenue stream.  This may be good for the bottom line, but it sucks if you are a fan of the team.

The front office has once again stated that the team's payroll will not increase while a new stadium, should it happen, is being constructed.

If they hold to this, Ramirez could be gone after the 2008 season.  Now, I don't want this to happen, and I'm guessing you don't want this to happen, but it is a real possibility.

That is, unless, the front office decides it is time to invest in the future of the team.

Don't hold your breath waiting on that to happen.