Russell Martin, Jason Hammel, not Hanley Ramirez are best fits for Dodgers: report.

Sports Illustrated today ranked the top 50 free agents and picked two — catcher Russell Martin and pitcher Jason Hammel — as “best fits” for the Dodgers.

Of Hammel, Ben Reiter writes:

He’d be a smart signing for the Dodgers and could make for a very effective No. 4 starter behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

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.

Hanley Ramirez headlines list of Dodgers’ free agents.

Pablo Sandoval

San Francisco Giants third baseman holds up three fingers: World Series rings, or contract years he’ll seek in free agency? (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)


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.
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Don Mattingly on Ned Colletti, his coaching staff, Hanley Ramirez, etc.

Don Mattingly

The Dodgers will finalize their 2015 coaching staff in the coming days and weeks. (Getty Images)

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:
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J.J. Hardy reportedly re-signs in Baltimore: What it means for the Dodgers.

Hanley  Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez hit .283 with 13 home runs and 71 RBIs for the Dodgers in 2014. (Getty Images)

Veteran shortstop J.J. Hardy has reportedly re-signed with the Baltimore Orioles for three years and $40 million.

If and when that becomes official, there will be one fewer shortstop on the free agent market once the season ends. That carries a few implications for the Dodgers and impending free agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez.
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Dodgers announce NLDS roster; Paco Rodriguez, Joc Pederson, Darwin Barney cut.

The Dodgers will carry 12 pitchers and 13 position players on their roster for the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Among the final cuts were left-hander Paco Rodriguez, outfielder Joc Pederson and infielder Darwin Barney.

The Dodgers will carry four starting pitchers and eight relievers, including two left-handers: Scott Elbert and J.P. Howell.

Here is the complete roster:
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Don Mattingly: Hanley Ramirez’s right elbow improving.

DENVER >> Don Mattingly said Wednesday that Hanley Ramirez’s sore right elbow had improved, one day after he was scratched from the Dodgers’ starting lineup:

Mattingly also talked about how difficult the season has been for Ramirez, who’s battled nagging injuries throughout the season (elbow, shoulder, hand) and spent 15 days on the disabled list in August with a strained right oblique muscle:

Don Mattingly expresses faith in struggling Hanley Ramirez.

Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez has seven hits in 12 games since coming off the disabled list. (Getty Images)


Hanley Ramirez drew two walks in four plate appearances Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He scored both times, thanks to a pair of three-run home runs by Adrian Gonzalez.

Ramirez has taken over the number-two slot in the batting order effectively vacated by Yasiel Puig.

“Over the last three months, Yas is probably hitting where he should be hitting right now,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

In the same breath, Mattingly professed his faith in Ramirez, who has seven hits in 43 at-bats since coming off the disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle.

“That spot there, who do you want the extra at-bat going to? Right now it’s not necessarily Yasiel,” Mattingly said. “Hopefully it ends up being Hanley swinging the bat better and better, because I do feel like we’re going to need him going down the stretch here. If we’re going to be lucky enough to get into the postseason and do something, we’re going to need Hanley to do what he does. Hanley’s proven over the years that he’s a batting title type guy. He’s an MVP-type guy. He hits good pitching. He can hit good pitching. That’s what we’re hoping to get back to.”

Hanley Ramirez joins the Dodgers’ lineup at the last minute.

Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez takes a minute to get up after injuring himself turning toward second base during the sixth inning of the Dodgers’ 3-2 loss to the San Diego Padres on Friday. (Associated Press photo)

SAN DIEGO >> When the camera isn’t rolling, Hanley Ramirez prefers to work in the shadows these days.

In the clubhouse before the Dodgers’ game against the Padres, he politely informed reporters that he isn’t doing interviews. Less than an hour later he was in a dark corner of left field, the only portion of Petco Park not bathed in sunshine, where the Western Metal Supply Co. building casts its shade. It’s the same building into which Ramirez hit a 390-foot home run last night.

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