Just a couple short years ago, Hanley Ramirez was playing shortstop for the Miami Marlins and was considered to be one of the best all-around players in baseball. He has faltered since then, however, and hasn't reacted particularly well to a move to third base this season. All of that and other factors prompted the Marlins to deal him to the Los Angeles Dodgers early Wednesday morning.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Marlins will send Ramirez and left-handed reliever Randy Choate to the Dodgers for pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Scott McGough. The Dodgers couldn't have made such a move last season with the ownership situation in flux, but this proves that things are stable and the organization wants to win.
Nobody has ever denied Ramirez's talent, but the Marlins have had a tough season in their new ballpark and were going to owe him $46.5 million over the next three seasons. As is always the case with the Marlins, money certainly came into play.
Here is a further breakdown of the blockbuster trade that sent Ramirez and Choate to the Dodgers for a pair of young pitchers.
Grade for Los Angeles Dodgers: A
The Dodgers have struggled a bit lately and are a couple games behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL West, so there is no doubt that they needed to make a move of some kind. If Ramirez can recapture the form that made him a superstar in the league, then L.A. may have a massive steal on its hands. Ramirez is hitting .246 with 14 homers, 48 RBI and 14 steals this year, so while he may not be playing anywhere near his potential, he can help the Dodgers even if he doesn't improve much.
Ramirez is just 28 years old, though, and may be reinvigorated after this trade. Ramirez fell flat last year, but in the previous four seasons, he averaged about 27 home runs, 83 RBI, 36 steals and well over 100 runs per year. If Ramirez can even be half that productive for the Dodgers, then the moves makes a lot of sense.
Los Angeles also gets Choate, who is a valuable lefty specialist and could get some big outs against left-handed boppers down the stretch. As for what the Dodgers gave up, Eovaldi is a 22-year-old pitcher who is already in the big leagues, but he has been very average in going 1-6 with a 4.15 ERA. McGough is also 22, but he is only at the High-A level with a 3.99 ERA as a reliever. The Dodgers are taking a risk due to Ramirez's hefty salary, but they gave up very little, so it was a great move for them.
Grade for Miami Marlins: F
I totally understand why the Marlins decided to deal Ramirez, especially after already dealing pitcher Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante to the Detroit Tigers. Things haven't gone as hoped to Miami despite all the hype, so the decision was made to cut salary and start from scratch. Such is life with the Marlins as the fans have grown quite accustomed to this type of management, but Miami could have at least gotten a better return for Hanley.
While it's true that Ramirez is a mercurial player with a huge salary, he is just two years removed from a monster season and was once spoken about in the same breath as a guy like Albert Pujols. There were plenty of teams rumored to be interested, so for the Marlins to only get a potential back-of-the-rotation starter in Eovaldi and a likely career minor leaguer in McGough in return for Ramirez is absolutely inexcusable.
I have to believe that this deal was financially driven as it doesn't appear as though Miami will have to pay any of Ramirez's salary. As is always the case with the Marlins, money took precedent over the on-field product in this trade. Ramirez could possibly flop in Los Angeles and save this deal for the Marlins, but as things stand now, Miami didn't get anything resembling a fair return for the three-time All-Star.
Tweets of the Trade
It should come as no surprise that the world of Twitter featured several differing opinions with regards to this deal. The overwhelming sentiment was that the Dodgers had struck gold, however, by landing the top-flight talent. In fact, this Dodgers fan thought the trade was so good that he was even willing to offer a little too much information in the midst of his excitement.
Clearly many Marlins fans were frustrated by the deal as well. They have seen what Ramirez can do, and although he hasn't been as productive over the past two seasons, many have grown quite attached to him. This fan is such a big Hanley supporter that he is hoping for Ramirez to put up huge numbers in L.A.
With that said, some Marlins fans are on management's side when it comes to this trade. Ramirez has been a bit of a diva at times and it has been said that his bad attitude may have had an adverse effect on the team. This fan certainly buys into that school of thought and is happy that Miami is moving on without him.
You would hard pressed to find any Dodgers fans on Twitter with an outwardly negative outlook on the deal, but not everyone was buying in completely. This fan, in particular, hopes that Ramirez can be a big boost at third over Juan Uribe and others, but doesn't seem totally optimistic that he'll regain his previous form.
There is no denying that this trade looks one-sided in the Dodgers' favor right now, and it definitely is. The Marlins desperately need Ramirez to fall flat in order to save face, or else they'll come out of the deal looking like a joke of a franchise. From the Dodgers perspective, even if Ramirez provides a bit of an offensive boost at third or perhaps shortstop, it will be well worth it due to how little they gave up.
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