The Miami Marlins continued to dump assets, sending Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers in the middle of the night. Ramirez will be joined in Los Angeles by Randy Choate, while Nate Eovaldi and prospect Scott McGough are heading to Miami.
The Dodgers desperately needed an upgrade on offense, and Ramirez has the potential to be that guy, despite struggling over the last two years. Ramirez has a .750 OPS in 93 games this year while playing third base for the first time in his career. Ramirez had back to back seven win seasons in 2008 and 2009 when his OPS topped .940 in each year and he went 30/30 in '08 (and 20/20 in '09, as well as 2010). But his attitude became an issue, and Ramirez took major steps back last year after dealing with injuries, and hasn't recovered this year. His BABIP over the last two years has been 60 points lower than his career average, and he just doesn't seem like the same player anymore.
That shouldn't matter for the Dodgers, because they have been terrible offensively. They've used a rotating cast of characters at third base, headed primarily by Juan Uribe, and have just a .681 OPS at the position with only four homers and two stolen bases. At shortstop, they've been even worse. with a .604 OPS thanks to Dee Gordon sucking the life out of the position. Since Gordon went on the DL after a thumb injury at the beginning of the month, offense at the position has slighty improved, but is still bad. No matter which position Ramirez plays for the Dodgers, he'll be a massive improvement over what they have right now.
The other particulars in the trade aren't super exciting. The 36-year old Choate has been a solid reliever for the Marlins over the last two seasons, and has a 2.49 ERA in 25 1/3 innings this year as a situationals lefty, striking out a batter per inning. Eovaldi ranked as the Dodgers #3 prospect coming into the year, and the 11th round pick from 2008 has made ten starts in the majors this year, pitching to a 4.15 ERA while striking out 34 and walking 20 in 56 1/3 innings. Control has always been an issue for him, and some scouts actually think he'll end up in the bullpen. His fastball averages 94, and can touch 98. McGough wasn't one of the Dodgers' top 30 prospects coming into the year, and the fifth round pick from 2011 has spent this year with high-A Rancho Cucamonga. He has a 3.99 ERA in 47 1/3 innings, and has struck out 48 while walking 24 coming out of the bullpen. He hasn't been savaged by the Calfornia altitude like many pitchers in the Cal League, allowing only three homers this year.
So in summary, the Marlins dumped Hanley, his bad attitude, and his contract, and in exchange, got a reliever and a hard thrower who might be a reliever. Lord, talk about a dump of a deal. The Dodgers should be thrilled that they got a player like Ramirez and still have Zach Lee and Allen Webster in the fold.
Photo courtesy of Daylife.com
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