Now that the Los Angeles Dodgers have locked up ace Clayton Kershaw for at least the next five years, the attention is now turned to extending shortstop Hanley Ramirez. The 29-year-old shortstop is entering his final season under contract and after admitting he wanted to be a Dodger for life, it was expected a deal would get done soon.
Things have been quiet since Ramirez hinted on his Instagram he was on his way to LA to deliver good news, but it turned out he was going to the Dominican Republic instead. According to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com, he might have to accept a position change down the line:
A Ramirez extension would probably come with an agreement that, at some point, he accept a move from shortstop to third base, depending on the arrival of 19-year-old infield prospect Corey Seager. Now a shortstop with the body of a third baseman, Seager has yet to play above Class A.
Moving Ramirez to third base for 2014 was briefly discussed when it wasn’t looking likely that Juan Uribe would return before he re-signed for the next two seasons. After being acquired for Nate Eovaldi in July of 2012, Ramirez has changed his tune completely and it showed during his first full season in Dodger Blue.
In 86 games, he hit .345 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI as he dealt with thumb, hamstring, shoulder and a broken rib. Meanwhile, Seager was rated as the number six shortstop prospect and many believe he’ll eventually shift to third base.
After starting the season at Low A Great Lakes, the 19-year-old shortstop was promoted to High A Rancho Cucamonga, but struggled in his short stint there. While he hit just .160 with Rancho, he played during the Arizona Fall League and is still considered the Dodgers number two prospect behind Joc Pederson according to Baseball America.
Signing Ramirez to an extension seems like a matter of time and with his diminishing range at shortstop, it’s likely he moves over to third base at some point in his career.
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