Hanley Ramirez played through various injuries in 2014 that not only impacted his performance at the plate but also defensively. Ramirez’s subpar glove was particularly devastating for Clayton Kershaw as an error committed by the shortstop prevented Kershaw from throwing a perfect game.
Now a free agent and just over one month away from turning 31, Ramirez has reportedly told suitors he’s open to playing a position other than shortstop, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports
Free agent star Hanley Ramirez, one of the best offensive shortstops in baseball over the last nine seasons, is telling interested teams he is willing to play “wherever there’s a need,” a clear signal he would switch to third base and perhaps even elsewhere on the diamond, which could potentially open up his market to several more teams.
It was reported last season the Dodgers considered moving Ramirez to left field, which some executives believe could be a position he plays in the future:
Ramirez’s invitation to play a different position has been taken by interested teams to mean he’d even consider a corner outfield spot or perhaps even first base for desirable teams in winning situations, multiple executives with interest in Ramirez say.
The Dodgers made the one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer to Ramirez earlier in the week and while he’s unlikely to accept it, he has yet to formally make a decision. Aside from Dodgers president and CEO, Stan Kasten, saying he isn’t sure if Ramirez will re-sign with the team, there’s been nothing to report on negotiations taking place to keep the shortstop in Los Angeles.
Ramirez tweeted about the free agency process on Thursday and reiterated his love for ‘Hanleywood.’ Whether or not Ramirez’s reported willingness to change positions impacts the chances he returns to the Dodgers remains to be seen.
The Dodgers don’t necessarily have a need at third base in 2015 as Juan Uribe will be in the final year of his contract and their outfield situation is far from needing another player added to the mix.