When the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for Miami Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, many were skeptical that Ramirez would be able to get out of his funk. At the time, Ramirez was unhappy playing third base and it showed when he came to the plate as his batting average plummeted to .246.
However, from the moment he came to LA, Ramirez embraced the city and the Dodgers and it showed during his 2013 campaign. Despite the injuries, Hanley hit .345 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI in just 86 games. With one year remaining on his contract, ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney expects the Dodgers and Ramirez to talk extension shortly:
The Dodgers are expected to begin talks on a long-term deal with Hanley Ramirez in good order.
There was talk that the Dodgers were interested in signing him to a long-term deal during All-Star weekend and after claiming he was playing through a fractured rib for the city of LA, it’s clear that Ramirez intends to remain a Dodger.
While he’ll never be a Gold Glover at shortstop, Ramirez reminded everyone this season how good of a hitter he is when locked in. Along with Juan Uribe, Ramirez was also instrumental in keeping Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig in check as the three were always seen doing things together.
The Dodgers infield remains in flux as they recently signed Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero and while it’s assumed he’ll take over second base duties, he’s playing multiple positions in winter ball. Uribe is a free agent and some suggest the Dodgers move Ramirez to third base and sign a shortstop with more range.
It’s unclear if the Dodgers have or will approach Ramirez about a move to third base this off-season, but signing him and ace Clayton Kershaw to long-term extensions are top priorities this winter.
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