However, there’s one contract that the team would still like to get done during the spring and that would be a contract extension with slugging shortstop Hanley Ramirez. The 30-year-old expressed his desire to remain with the team and be a “Dodger for life”.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the two sides are working towards an agreement that includes a position change:
The Dodgers and Ramirez are privately into contract talks. It appears the majority of Ramirez’s next contract will be with him as a third baseman, likely moving from shortstop as early as 2015. Ramirez doesn’t mind moving to third, but doesn’t want to be moved back and forth.
Ramirez was acquired from the Miami Marlins in the middle of the 2012 season after the shortstop had a falling out with the Marlins. He was upset that the team signed shortstop Jose Reyes and moved him to third base without acknowledging him of the situation prior to the deal. With the frustration from the position change, Ramirez’s production began to drop and the Marlins were ready to deal him.
Since joining the Dodgers, Ramirez has been nothing but positive and it can be argued that he was the team’s MVP last season. In just 86 games, the shortstop hit .345 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI and led a second-half surge that propelled the Dodgers to an NL West title. He continued his torrid pace in the NLDS before being limited in the NLCS after being hit by a pitch and fracturing a rib. Ramirez is expected to anchor the middle of the order this season and lead the team back to the postseason.
If a deal can be reached before the season, Ramirez wouldn’t have to worry about a contract and will be able to enjoy playing in Los Angeles for the significant future.
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