As expected, the Dodgers have extended a qualifying offer to free agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez has until 2 p.m. next Monday to accept the offer, which amounts to a one-year contract worth $15.3 million.
If Ramirez rejects the offer and signs with another team, the Dodgers would receive a compensatory draft pick in June 2015.
Ramirez, 30, slashed .283/.369/.448 in the final year of a six-year, $70 million contract that he signed as a member of the Miami Marlins. Though he was a steadying force on offense (132 OPS-plus), he struggled mightily on defense. His .963 fielding percentage matched Washington’s Ian Desmond for the lowest among regular National League shortstops and his -10.3 UZR was the lowest among all NL shortstops.
The Dodgers cannot move Ramirez to third base without displacing Juan Uribe, or to first base without displacing Adrian Gonzalez. If that doesn’t make a return to Los Angeles unlikely, Ramirez would be taking a voluntary pay cut from the $16 million he made last year if he accepts the qualifying offer.
In the last two years, 22 free agents have received qualifying offers and none have accepted.
Though Ramirez’s nagging injuries were a constant source of concern last season, there should be a sizable market for a player with a career batting average of .300, plus power and the ability to steal a base. Ramirez could prolong his peak years by moving to the American League, where he can be a designated hitter.