After Hanley Ramirez rejected the Los Angeles Dodgers’ qualifying offer, it appeared to be the first step toward the shortstop’s time with the team coming to an end.
Although Ramirez was instrumental in the Dodgers’ success in 2013, he wasn’t the same player last season and again suffered from various injuries throughout the year. To this point, indications have been the Dodgers were moving on, which was further fueled by their reported pursuit of Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez.
However according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, the Dodgers may still be open to re-signing Hanley:
Despite reports that the Dodgers are moving on from free-agent infielder Hanley Ramirez, major-league sources told SB Nation that the team “has not shut the door” on a reunion with the 30-year old.
Although Ramirez had what many consider a down year at the plate, he led all shortstops in on-base percentage (.369), slugging percentage (.448), OPS (.817) and was fourth with 71 RBIs and batting average (.283).
Where Ramirez was a liability was with his glove as he finished the year with a -10.3 UZR. That number looks less favorable when compared to Alexei’s -0.7 UZR in 2014, though it plummeted from 5.5 in 2013 and 8.3 in 2012.
While the Dodgers may be open to re-signing Ramirez, they presumably are not interested in signing the soon-to-be 31-year-old to a long-term contract. According to reports, Ramirez has drawn interest from the Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox, among others.
Whether the Dodgers opt to re-sign Ramirez or move forward with a trade for Alexei, both conceivably would be a bridge to Corey Seager; Alexei has one year remaining on his contract and a $10 million team option for 2016 with a $1 million buyout.
Ramirez’s reported willingness to play positions other than shortstop was believed to be an attempt to boost his value in free agency, though it hasn’t necessarily had the impact he may have hoped for. As other players begin to sign new contracts, the market may soon open up for Ramirez and his fellow free agents.
Should Ramirez sign with a team other than the Dodgers, they would receive a draft pick as compensation and a result of making the qualifying offer.[divide]
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