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Dodgers swing for fences, land Hanley Ramirez from Marlins

Jul 25, 2012, 3:11 AM EDT

Hanley Ramirez Getty Images

The Dodgers are flush with cash and aren’t afraid to use it. As first reported by Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, they acquired third baseman Hanley Ramirez and left-hander Randy Choate from the Marlins late Tuesday night in return for right-handers Nathan Eovaldi and Scott McGough.

It’s a modest price to play for a guy who ranked as one of the game’s top three properties a couple of years back. Ramirez was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2006, and he received MVP votes each of the following three years, finishing in second place in 2009 at the still tender age of 25.

Ramirez has gone downhill since. After a modestly disappointing 2010 in which he hit .300/.378/.475, he fell off to .243/.333/.379 in 92 games in 2011. This year, he’s hit .246/.322/.428 with 14 homers and 48 RBI through 93 games.

The Dodgers will hope the trade is just the kick in the pants that Ramirez needs. His attitude deteriorated with his performance in Miami, and his occasional lack of hustle was frustrating. A new start might do wonders for him. At 28, it’s hardly too late for him to return to playing like a superstar.

And Ramirez is getting paid like a star, which is why the Dodgers didn’t have to part with all that much talent to get him. He’ll make $15.5 million next year and $16 million in 2014 before becoming a free agent. With that kind of salary, he’ll be counted on to produce a bunch of runs while likely batting fifth behind Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in the order.

The Dodgers will have the option of playing Ramirez either third base or shortstop. Third base makes sense as his long-term position in Los Angeles, but since Dee Gordon has been a big disappointment at shortstop this year and is injured besides, it would make sense to return Hanley to his old position for the short term.

Along with Ramirez, the Dodgers are getting a useful specialist in Choate. Usually asked to face just one or two lefties at a time, the 36-year-old southpaw had a 2.49 ERA in 25 1/3 innings for the Marlins this year. Left-handers were hitting .150 in 60 at-bats against him. Last year, they hit .145 in 69 at-bats.

While it wasn’t the huge return their fans would have preferred, the Marlins got a solid starter in here in Eovaldi. The polished 22-year-old was 1-6 for the Dodgers this season, but that was mostly due to poor run support. He had a 4.15 ERA, and he allowed three runs or fewer in eight of his 10 starts. He could slide right into Miami’s rotation, and his presence may make it easier for the team to part with Josh Johnson next.

McGough, 22, had a 3.99 ERA and a 48/26 K/BB ratio in 47 1/3 innings out of the pen for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga this season. He was the Dodgers’ fifth-round pick last year.

  1. bigmeechy74 - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    Good thing they spent all that money on buehrle and bell in the offseason

    • Old Gator - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:41 AM

      Buehrle has more than lived up to the cost. That his teammates haven’t scored any runs for him, or that Bell and his compadres in the arson pen have given away a handful of leads he entrusted to them, isn’t his fault.

      The CW in Macondo is that Buehrle is a keeper. How the Feesh get rid of Bell, well now, that will be interesting. They will have to eat their chum to do it.

    • pinkfloydprism - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      If there ever was a candidate for contraction, or at least removal of the current owner ship… this is it. Seriously, how many times have they done this?

      • Old Gator - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:23 PM

        Once before. Don’t confuse them with Huizinga.

      • pinkfloydprism - Jul 25, 2012 at 2:19 PM

        Still, it should not happen

      • bigmeechy74 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:58 PM

        I don’t think trading hanley and anibal is necessarily dumb though. They made a mistake this offseason by spending a lot but they needed to get rid of hanley to free up money to spend on other things. If they just go back to penny pinching and don’t use the money they save then i will agree with you

      • pinkfloydprism - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        I agree with you. I guess I just think there should be some sort of penalty for teams that do this or hoard revenue sharing. At least the Pirates are starting to spend some money and trying to win now, so I suppose that is a win.

  2. wickedworld123 - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    Nice…this is a fun one. I mean, let’s be real, if the Dodgers were gonna trade for anyone it had to be a bat. I still think they’re a bat and maybe an arm short, but for what they gave up to get him? Unless the “undisclosed prospect” is Zach Lee, sure looks like they got a good deal. I mean, maybe he isn’t what he was…but it ain’t my money. And certainly won’t be an albatross.

    Gotta wonder what 2013 is gonna look like in Miami now…

    • Old Gator - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:42 AM

      It’s going to look like 2005, only the ticket prices will be higher.

    • tsi431 - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:24 AM

      Gotta wonder what 2013 is gonna look like in Miami now…

      With the looks of that stadium its going to be FABULOUS (sarcasm).

      • pinkfloydprism - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:27 AM

        The stadium looks better on the Show 12. They toned the green down so people would not have seizures.

  3. hittfamily - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    They should have swapped Sanchez for Loney too.

    This was a great trade for Miami. Salary dump of an overpaid ingrate,they don’t have to include money, and they got a useful player in return. Brilliant.

    • Old Gator - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:44 AM

      It was a good trade. They should have traded the Hanster a year ago, but better late than never. He just wasn’t going to grow up here. But then who does?

  4. riverace19 - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    Marlins are shifting gears…
    Good to see a GM realize what he did personnel wise didn’t work and is now trying something new… At least he isn’t set in his ways

    • jon623 - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:56 AM

      He got nothing in return for Hanley. If he was “shifting gears,” he would have made some kind of move including receiving some type of talent, or invested in doing what he could to help Hanley return to top form.

      I think it’s a good move for the Dodgers though. Giving nothing to get a player that could come back to all star form is a solid deal from my end.

      How sweet would it be for them to get Dempster too…

      • hittfamily - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:19 AM

        What do you mean “giving nothing”? They are giving the Marlins 31 million dollars. The Marlins owed a .750 OPS 3rd baseman 31 million dollars. They no longer do. And the Dodgers gave up a real prospect too, not some guy likely to get DFA’d.

        How I see this, the Marlins got value, for a guy who had no value.

      • dangle13x - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        Hahahaha Hanley Ramirez has no value? That shows how short sighted and completely asinine you fish fans are. No idea what you are talking about. I can’t wait til Hanley hits his stride, and the Dodgers come play in Miami, and Marlins fan show up in the hundreds to boo Hanley. Good luck with that drowning franchise. Jose Reyes wants to shoot himself.

      • Old Gator - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        The aptly named dangle: I can see you’ve been playing close attention to the Hanster’s career for the past three years. This is his stride. Good luck to you both.

      • jon623 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:27 PM

        Hittfamily, I definitely do see your point. I missed the part of the trade where they pick up the 31 million dollars owed. My bad. That said, even with 31 million bucks in the bank, I don’t trust the Feesh management to do anything impressive with it.

        I disagree with you about the Marlins getting value for a guy of no value. It even says in the article that “the Dodgers didn’t have to part with all that much talent to get him.” And yes, the only reason they didn’t have to give much talent is because of how Hanley is performing… but I still look at this as a bargain from the Dodgers side, not from the Feesh side. I genuinely feel Hanley has a chance to figure it out and develop to that player that we all hope he can be.

        Even if he doesn’t, the Dodgers didn’t really lose anything to get him.

  5. kingmeech - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:07 AM

    Wow sox blew it on this one. Make Becket dice k and Lester available and see who bites

    • Ari Collins - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:06 AM

      Hanley makes no sense for Boston. Third base is taken by a better player, and with Hanley’s poor defense at short, that’s not such a great option either.

    • sandpiperair - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:43 AM

      Bites on Matsuzaka? Try zero.

  6. lewp - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:09 AM

    From Larry Brown Sports:

    Hanley Ramirez is batting .179 this month and his OPS has been under .700 since June. I think he’s a flaky player and not the superstar he appeared to be from 2007-2009. Maybe a change in scenery and a new team will help him get back to crushing the ball and spark a turnaround, but I’m not too optimistic.

    If the Dodgers wanted a third baseman, they would have been better served trading for Kevin Youkilis instead of letting the White Sox get him. I even think Chase Headley or Aramis Ramirez would have helped the team more.

    The Dodgers are losing Nathan Eovaldi in the deal. He’s a former 8th-round draft pick who made six starts last season and 10 this season. The guy is a flame thrower and routinely sits in the mid-90s, so he has strong strikeout potential. The downside with him is that he throws too many pitches like Chad Billingsley who never overcame the problem. Of course, if Eovaldi turns out to be as effective as Billingsley, the Marlins will probably be thrilled. The other player in the deal is Scott McGough, a former Oregon pitcher who was drafted by the Dodgers last year. He’s only 22 and playing in single-A, so it’s too early to tell what he can do.

  7. Old Gator - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    I’m cautiously pleased with this deal. The Hanster had to go. He wasn’t contributing much to speak of in Macondo, his attitude was a dead weight, and yesterday he was dropped to sixth in the order, which itself was a band-aid.

    So now the Feesh have gotten back some peetching, which of course is always needed. In Brantly they may have found themselves a future backstop, and the sooner they can move the disaster that is Black Hole Buck to the pine (on the assumption that no one is going to trade for him, except at gunpoint) the better.

    But the fact is that peetching simply wasn’t the Rainbow Warriors’ biggest issue this season, with the exception of Bell for whom replacement parts already could be found in the pen. The issue is, they can’t score any goddamned runs. They might as well have an Old South Beach Night and install rocking chairs at second and third so their baserunners can be comfortable while they wait to die.

  8. escapingexile - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Well, the last time we traded for an ex-Sock named Ramirez…. Eh, never mind. Stay off the juice Hanley. Hanleywood anyone?

  9. ishwishfish - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Trade Beinfest

  10. yahmule - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    At least this spares the Red Sox from reacquiring Ramirez which could have only ended in tears.

  11. jonirocit - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    What I great morning I wake up to see my beloved Ned colletti did far more damage than the giants ever could to the dodgers season . The second time he has gotten a toxic player for the boys in blue named Ramirez . Can’t wait for all the magic stories ! Before all the uneducated dodger fan decides to give Magic all the credit like the media will remember the magic man is a minority owner ( not because of race silly people but cuz he owns a tiny bit and is more of a face than anything).

    • schlom - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      Yeah, Manny Ramirez was real toxic in 2008 when the Dodgers traded for him. He only hit 396/489/743. What a bum, he practically ruined the Dodgers season by himself.

    • jdillydawg - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      Uh, the Giants can’t ruin the Dodgers season. They can only beat them. Just as the Yankees aren’t responsible for Boston’s current woes.

      And Magic may just be a minority owner, but people listen to him. He didn’t become a successful business man by just writing checks and keeping his mouth shut. If anyone knows how to win, it’s Magic. My guess is that if you looked into many of Magic’s business ventures, he may show up as the minority owner for a lot of projects. Money isn’t why Magic is there. It’s his knowledge the team needs. Try putting a price on that.

  12. sandpiperair - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Nobody blows it up like the Marlins!

  13. jdillydawg - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    How is it that a team that this time last year was wondering if it could actually make payroll is now a serious pennant contender? Apparently, the new Dodger ownership believes winning AND the bottom line are both important. I do love me some Magic!

    The thought occurs to me, though, that a lot baseball teams (owners) do not actually care about providing a quality product to the fans. McCourt was a classic example, as is Loria. And take my second favorite team, the Mariners, for instance. I enjoy the ballpark experience at Safeco, but no matter how many bells and whistles you throw at me, if the team can’t win, I’m not really enjoying the product. Products I buy should actually work. (I’m not even asking for a World Series, I’d take a winning season right now!).

    Hate the Yankees all you want, but they consistently provide quality baseball to their fans. I’m glad to see the Dodgers are finally figuring it out again, too. Oakland proves you don’t have to have a mega-payroll to do it, you just have to have people who give a damn.

  14. timpaz - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    If the dodgers can get this kids head together he’s a talent,.

  15. myclesom - Mar 13, 2013 at 5:28 AM

    Everyone wants to show their creativity or skills through different things .some shows through their art, poetry,some show through their command on languages etc. Design is an intuitive, sensitive and good judgment by which some demonstrate the inner talent. Web designing is one of the way through which people show their creativity to the world or we can globe design dubai

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