As expected, Hanley Ramirez became one of 12 players to reject the qualifying offer from his respective team. Michael Cuddyer, who was also in Ramirez’s position, quickly moved on to sign a two-year deal with the New York Mets.
Ramirez has drawn interest from the Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox, who signed the shortstop as a free agent in 2000. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers have not discussed re-signing Ramirez, according to ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon:
Hanley Ramirez rejected the Dodgers’ $15.3 million qualifying offer Monday and, according to a source, there has been no internal dialogue about retaining Ramirez on a multiyear deal. The Dodgers will take the compensatory draft pick they get for losing Ramirez and move on.
Ramirez will turn 31 in December and there are concerns regarding his ability to remain healthy and whether or not he’s an everyday caliber shortstop. Since being traded to the Dodgers in 2012, Ramirez has battled multiple injuries that either forced him to the disabled list or impacted his play.
Ramirez began the 2013 season on the DL after injuring his thumb in the World Baseball Classic, but was a driving force for the Dodgers upon returning. While he did manage to avoid the DL last season save for the time he was sidelined by an oblique injury in August, he was far from the same hitter the Dodgers saw in 2013.
Prior to receiving official word from Ramirez on the qualifying offer, the Dodgers reportedly expressed an interest in Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez. Alexei is under contract for two more seasons, though it’s a team option that includes a $1 million buyout in 2016.
Alexei conceivably could hold the fort at shortstop until the Dodgers are ready to promote über prospect Corey Seager from the Minors. Seager was one of the prospects the Dodgers refused to part with at the trading deadline last season and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said recently he sees no reason to move him from shortstop despite his large stature.
For as much as Ramirez may have failed to meet expectations in 2014, his .817 OPS led all shortstops and he was third on the Dodgers with 71 RBIs.