Last week, the Los Angeles Dodgers locked up reigning Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw to a seven-year, $215 million deal to keep the left-hander from reaching free agency. Most of the team’s big names are under long-term deals except for slugging shortstop Hanley Ramirez, but its seems the Dodgers are trying to change that too.
According to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, the two sides have been communicating after the Kershaw deal was finished last Friday:
With Kershaw behind Dodgers, Hanley Ramirez negotiations remain in early stages and ongoing.
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) January 20, 2014
Ramirez mentioned earlier in the off-season that they were working on an extension and a deal may be in place before the season starts. The shortstop came to the Dodgers in a 2012 trade with the Miami Marlins and has cemented himself in the heart of the batting order. Last season, Ramirez hit .345 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI in just 86 games due to injury.
He was one of the main reasons that the Dodgers turned their season around from last place in June to winning the National League West title in September. In the postseason, the former NL Rookie of the Year kept up his strong presence at the plate before being hampered by a broken rib in Game 1 of the NLCS. Ramirez was hit by a pitch and was limited the rest of the series, although he did continue to play, saying he owed it to the city of LA.
After the Kershaw deal, the 30-year-old congratulated his teammate and asked if Kershaw left any money for him. Ramirez stated his desire to remain in Los Angeles and it was reported that any extension may come with the notion that he would move to third base in the near future. A move to third could pave the way for prospect Corey Seager to take over the shortstop position when he’s ready.
A deal with Ramirez could be done before the season and would give the Dodgers a very successful off-season.
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