Since trading for Hanley Ramirez in 2012, the shortstop position hasn’t been one of much concern for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yes, Ramirez’s injuries at times has left them needing to rely on another option, but his overall presence has been constant.
However, that may soon change with Ramirez now a free agent. The Dodgers made the qualifying offer to the 30-year-old shortstop, which he’s unlikely to accept and that could put his return to Los Angeles in jeopardy. While Ramirez’s future with the Dodgers may be uncertain, Corey Seager is waiting in the wings.
Seager is widely considered the Dodgers’ top prospect and one whom Dodgers president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman, doesn’t envision moving from the shortstop position, according to Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider:
I’m convinced that I would not move him off shortstop right now – his hands work really well, and we have a number of guys who think he has a real chance to stick there. The few number of games we got to see him, he had a number of different chances and completed games from all different angles. … It’s a difficult thing to project but we’re going to give him every chance, (because) it’s of significant value if he can play there. The little I’ve gotten to know him, I would not bet against him.”
Seager’s size (6’4, 180 lbs) has led to some outside the Dodgers organization predicting a move over to third base. However to this point, the Dodgers have done nothing to indicate they believe the same and Friedman’s comments certainly support that.
Although the Dodgers may need to fill a void at shortstop in 2015, Friedman wasn’t ready to predict when Seager may reach the Majors:
I don’t think it’s (helpful) to put a timeline on him. He’s an incredibly impressive prospect … he’s got a maturity about him about how he prepares and plays the game. It’s too early to say when we think he’ll be ready, but we feel good about his chances about being a good Major League player down the road.”
Should Ramirez and the Dodgers part ways this winter, a replacement may come in the form of Alexei Ramirez as the Dodgers reportedly have expressed interest in the Chicago White Sox shortstop.
Alexei is under contract for $10 million in 2015 and 2016, though the final year is a team option that includes a $1 million buyout. Alexei would serve as a natural bridge to Seager, though acquiring him may not be an easy hurdle to overcome.