It’s going to take more than one story or one blog entry to grasp the full scope of what’s happened to the Dodgers roster since the end of the season. I wrote this today. It’s a start. Mostly, it’s a look ahead to what the 2015 Dodgers could look like. What changes could happen between now and then?
The Dodgers received a compensatory-round draft pick Tuesday, when Hanley Ramirez‘s four-year contract with the Boston Red Sox became official.
Right now, that pick will be the 33rd overall selection in the June draft. It could become a lower pick if Ervin Santana (Braves), Melky Cabrera (Blue Jays), David Robertson (Yankees), Francisco Liriano (Pirates), James Shields (Royals) or Max Scherzer (Tigers) sign with another team. Each of those players rejected a qualifying offer from his 2014 team.
MLB.com has a nice visual breakdown of the compensatory round draft order.
Who can be had with the 33rd overall pick? According to baseball-reference.com’s version of WAR, the best 33rd overall draft pick of all-time is Mike Gallego. The Oakland A’s drafted the diminutive infielder out of UCLA in 1981. He went on to play 13 major-league seasons on the strength of his middle-infield glovework.
The Dodgers also have their own-first round pick next June, the 26th overall selection.
Hanley Ramirez batted .283 with 13 home runs and 71 RBIs in 2014. (Getty Images)
was not expected to return to Los Angeles in 2015. Andrew Friedman’s decision to let him sign elsewhere was going to save the Dodgers a lot of money wherever Ramirez signed, but it was not terribly difficult. The Dodgers had good reason not to give Ramirez a multi-year contract, and Ramirez did not reject the Dodgers’ qualifying offer
only to sign a one-year deal somewhere else.
The Boston Red Sox had several reasons to take an interest in Ramirez. They have a designated hitter, David Ortiz, who turned 39 on Tuesday and can become a free agent after the 2015 season. They have their shortstop of the future, Xander Bogaerts, already in place. They have a glaring need for offense at third base (Boston third basemen had a .580 OPS last season, 14th in the American League).
They also draft seventh in next year’s entry draft. Only the teams that draft 1-10 are able to sign a player who rejected a qualifying offer and keep their pick, so the Red Sox had more incentive than some teams to make a big pitch.
Soon, it appears, they will have Ramirez under contract for next season and beyond: