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.
Hanley Ramirez dropped a strong hint in a series of tweets Thursday that he will not accept the Dodgers’ qualifying offer, a $15.3 million contract for 2015.
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:
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.
Alexei Ramirez has a .277 batting average, 99 home runs and 118 stolen bases in seven major league seasons, all with the Chicago White Sox. (Getty Images)
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.
Hanley Ramirez hit 13 home runs and stole 14 bases in an injury-plagued 2014 season. (Associated Press photo)
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.