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Should the Dodgers move Hanley Ramirez to third base?

May 30, 2014, 8:40 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers v New York Mets Los Angeles Dodgers v New York Mets

Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles makes the case that the Dodgers should move shortstop Hanley Ramirez over to third base. Citing the advanced defensive metrics — though without the necessary warning of a small sample size — Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating, Saxon points out that Ramirez grades out poorly through the first two months of the season, at -10 and -6.9, respectively.

The Dodgers lost third baseman Juan Uribe to a hamstring injury last week and he may be out a while longer still. Saxon suggests Ramirez could take over for Uribe at third base while Erisbel Arruebarrena (and, later, Alex Guerrero) could grab the everyday shortstop job.

Ramirez, 30, is in the final year of a six-year, $70 million contract extension signed with the Marlins back in May 2008. He can become a free agent after the season. Recent reports indicate that he is seeking an extension in excess of $130 million to stay with the Dodgers. In 219 plate appearances this season, Ramirez is slashing .245/.324/.434 with seven home runs and 26 RBI.

  1. nvpuckstopper27 - May 30, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    I don’t know about moving him to 3rd base, but now way in HE double hockey sticks would I give him $130 million after this year unless he hits .320 and has 120 RBI and the Dodgers win the World Series. I’d rather see what the youth like Seager can do.

  2. sportsfan18 - May 30, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    the Dodgers shouldn’t keep him or sign him long term.

    he has all the talent in the world. yeah, he’s been injured some, not as much as others…

    more importantly is that what he produces goes up and down so much.

    if he’s getting paid $20 million a season for 5 yrs, he might give them $20 million worth of production one year and then the next drop down to like $11 or $12 million worth of production.

    from 23 to 25 yrs old, those 3 seasons in a row he excelled.

    since then, not so much.

    here are his OPS+ since his age 26 season in 2010

    126 solid season
    95 (BELOW league average which is 100)
    105 (not much above league average)
    189 outstanding, fantastic year and production from him
    112 so far this season which has a long way to go of course

    That is from his age 26 season right up until now this season and he’s 30 right now.

    That is 4 PLUS years and looking at the OPS+ over those 4 PLUS yrs, I don’t see that he deserves a contract that pays him $20 million per year plus…

    His production for the past 4 plus years does NOT warrant huge dollars.

    especially as he’s now on the wrong side of 30….

    He’s signed through this season. I know the Dodgers have money and that is NOT the problem…

    But NONE of us want to overpay for things, a new car, a used car, a couch or a meal at a restaurant…

    From 26 to 30, Hanley has done OK, but he hasn’t performed worthy of superstar pay…

    I’m NOT a fan of Robby Cano, but here are his OPS+ from 2010 to now

    128 so far this season

    That’s much better than 125, 95, 105 etc… big difference

    • mkprz - May 31, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      I agree with your point, but nobody in sports produced even $1 million worth of anything.

  3. Dan Camponovo - May 30, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    I agree that he’s probably not a shortstop anymore at this stage in his career, but Alex Guerrero’s defense was suspect for SECOND base before the season began. He’s not the answer at short, either. Nor would moving Dee Gordon back to short and promoting Guerrero to play second be a big defensive upgrade. There aren’t a lot of better options in-house…

    • roundballsquarebox24 - May 31, 2014 at 1:21 AM

      Alex Guerrero is a natural shortstop. His defensive shortcomings have come due to the different angles and pivots that you make as a second baseman vs shortstop. Now, I haven’t seen him play SS so I can’t say whether he will be a defensive upgrade or not, but he is learning how to play 2B form scratch, but he has been playing SS his entire life.

      • yahmule - May 31, 2014 at 1:43 PM

        And his struggles @ 2B were very overblown.

  4. unfly - May 30, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    $130M? Hanley’s good but no thanks.

  5. imnotyourbuddyguy - May 30, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    Yes, absolutely, no question

  6. twinfan24 - May 31, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Barely acceptable slash line, and poor defense? Sure, that’s worth $130 million. That would be the test to truly see if the Dodgers wallets are bottomless.

  7. mkprz - May 31, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    The Dodgers need to keep Ramirez.
    They’d be stuck with too many ‘Ramirez’ jerseys if he is traded.

  8. Carl Hancock - May 31, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    It’s a shame Hanley is so inconsistent. When he’s on his game the guy can rake.

  9. notsofast10 - May 31, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    I don’t know but Erisbel Arruebarrena can flat out pick it at short! Probably the best glove out of everybody mentioned in the article. HItting? We’ll see, so far so good.

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