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