Los Angeles Dodgers’ shortstop Hanley Ramirez is heading into the final year of his contract and all signs pointed to an extension earlier in the off-season.
Ramirez saw fellow teammate Clayton Kershaw receive a seven-year, $215 million contract extension and many believed that the shortstop was next; however, the season starts today and a deal has not yet been made.
According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, the 30-year-old has turned his focus elsewhere as the season begins:
Ramirez declined to say whether he and the Dodgers are discussing a new deal.
“I’m just playing baseball,” he said.
It seems as if Ramirez’s expectations of a deal are a lot more calm than before. Usually, teams and players prefer to get negotiations done before the season in order to minimize distractions for both sides. The Dodgers’ shortstop did add that he would like to remain with the team beyond this season.
However, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN, Dodgers’ general manager Ned Colletti has not yet ruled out a possible deal:
Colletti told us on SiriusXM that they will continue to have private negotiations re: Hanley Ramirez with his agent Adam Katz of Wasserman
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) March 30, 2014
If negotiations are kept private, then a deal could be made during the season, especially if Ramirez continues his torrid pace from 2013. Last season, he hit .345 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI in just 86 games and propelled the team to its’ National League West title and NLCS appearance. Since joining the team during the 2012 season, Ramirez has been one of the best hitters in the National League and has had a positive impact in the clubhouse. A long-term deal for Ramirez would give the Dodgers a core of players with multiple years left on their contracts.
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