UPDATE (Nov. 10, 2:50 p.m.): The Los Angeles Dodgers confirmed on Monday afternoon Hanley Ramirez declined their qualifying offer:
Hanley Ramirez has declined the Dodgers' qualifying offer.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) November 10, 2014
Thus far in free agency, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ biggest moves have come in their additions to the front office. It began with Andrew Friedman being hired as president of baseball operations and snowballed into the hires of Gabe Kapler and Farhan Zaidi, among others.
The Dodgers have been linked to Russell Martin, which was expected, as well as Alexei Ramirez. Meanwhile, with the deadline approaching to make a decision, Hanley Ramirez rejected the Dodgers’ qualifying offer, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
Source: Hanley Ramirez has rejected the #Dodgers' qualifying offer.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) November 10, 2014
Had Ramirez accepted, he would have been under contract for one season at $15.3 million — or $700,000 less than his 2014 salary. This also will guarantee the Dodgers a supplemental draft pick should Ramirez sign with another team.
While Ramirez and the Dodgers can agree to different terms of a deal, his future in Los Angeles may be in real jeopardy. Ramirez will turn 31 in December and he presumably is seeking a long-term contract in what will likely be the final large contract of his career.
That may prove troublesome for the Dodgers on two fronts — Ramirez’s inability to remain healthy and Corey Seager making his way up the Minor-League ranks. That being said, Ramirez’s reported willingness to switch positions could aid his cause, just not necessarily with the Dodgers in 2015 as Juan Uribe will be in the final year of his contract.
Although Ramirez faced plenty of scrutiny for his shortcomings — both offensive and defensive — in 2014, he improved in the latter stages of the season. Also to his credit, he only went to the disabled list once (oblique injury) last season; though that too may have been a detriment.
Nonetheless, Ramirez still isn’t too far removed from being a dangerous bat that no pitcher is interested in facing. If not with the Dodgers, Ramirez may find an acceptable contract with an American League team — perhaps the New York Yankees — who are in need of a shortstop and/or designated hitter.
Conceivably falling in line with what Ramirez may be seeking, Zach Links of MLB Trade Rumors projected a six-year, $132 million contract for the shortstop.