Hanley Ramirez did not accept the Dodgers’ qualifying offer by the Monday afternoon deadline, making him a free agent.
Ramirez was not expected to take the qualifying offer, a one-year $15.3 million contract for 2015, which would have amounted to a pay cut from his 2014 salary. No player has accepted his team’s qualifying offer in the three years since it became an option.
Though he played exclusively at shortstop in 2014, Ramirez’s future is seen at either as a corner infielder, corner outfielder, or designated hitter in the American League. Since the Dodgers are set at those positions for next season (and don’t have the option of using a designated hitter), they are not expected to try to entice Ramirez with a multiyear contract.
According to various reports, and even his own Twitter bio, Ramirez is open to changing positions. That could make him a very desirable player in a free-agent market lacking right handed power hitters.
Is Hanley Ramirez willing to switch positions for his next team?
This isn’t the Dodgers’ most pressing concern at the moment, but it was interesting to see that Ramirez changed his Twitter bio Monday morning from “MLB shortstop” to “MLB player.”
We promise not to make this a daily update … unless Hanley changes his mind again.
Ramirez has said in the past that he takes a hands-off approach to contract negotiations. While he’s expressed his two cents to the world on Twitter — and likely to his agents, Adam Katz Andy Mota — Ramirez’s camp has not formally rejected the qualifying offer, according to Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
This seems to be a matter of time. Ramirez has until the end of the week to decide, and might just be taking his time. It’s more likely that his agents are negotiating with other teams than mulling the qualifying offer at this point.
As expected, it looks like Hanley Ramirez will reject the Dodgers’ $15.3 million qualifying offer and become a free agent. At least, that was the logical conclusion after Ramirez all but renounced his ties to the Dodgers in a series of tweets Thursday:
Free Agency. Hard and important decisions to make. But exciting times. God and Family always. #iSeeYou
— Hanley Ramirez (@HanleyRamirez) November 7, 2014
— Hanley Ramirez (@HanleyRamirez) November 7, 2014
Ramirez also changed his Twitter bio to read “MLB shortstop,” taken from the business card of a man who knows what position he wants to play but doesn’t care where.
The Dodgers might have a Ramirez at shortstop next year after all.
According to a report on CBSChicago.com, the Dodgers are one of at least three teams that have inquired on White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez. The New York Yankees and New York Mets (“the most aggressive [team] in their pursuit of a shortstop over the past 12 months”) are also mentioned in the report.
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.
Of Hammel, Ben Reiter writes:
And of Martin:
The Dodgers have been getting by with A.J. Ellis behind the plate for a few seasons, but that will change in 2015. New team president Andrew Friedman’s first major expenditure will likely be to bring Martin back to the club for which he played between 2006 and ’10.
Free agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez, meanwhile, was tabbed a “best fit” for the New York Yankees. The Dodgers are expected to extend Ramirez a qualifying offer today.
Each qualifying offer is a one-year, $15.3 million contract. If the player rejects it and signs elsewhere, his former team receives a supplemental-round draft pick in 2015.
The World Series is over, meaning a total of 121 players became major-league free agents today.
Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who seemed destined for a contract extension a year ago, now seems destined to receive a $15.3 million qualifying offer. He headlines the Dodgers’ group of seven free agents, and is the only one with a chance of receiving a qualifying offer. Josh Beckett, Kevin Correia, Roberto Hernandez, Paul Maholm, Chris Perez and Jamey Wright are the others.
Some of the bigger free-agent names you’ll hear discussed this winter: Starting pitchers Max Scherzer, Ervin Santana, James Shields, Jake Peavy, Justin Masterson and Jon Lester, relievers Sergio Romo, Andrew Miller and Jason Grilli, catcher Russell Martin, first baseman Kendrys Morales, third basemen Pablo Sandoval and Chase Headley, outfielders Ichiro Suzuki, Norichika Aoki and Michael Morse.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly addressed a number of topics in his season-ending media session Thursday. The big takeaway, as I explained in today’s editions: If the Dodgers didn’t beat themselves, and the manager only would’ve done one thing differently, then whoever assembled the team is primarily accountable for an early playoff exit.
That’s the manager’s opinion, and Don Mattingly doesn’t have the power to fire Ned Colletti.
But he did address Colletti’s status directly, and a few other things I wasn’t able to expand on in that piece: