Hanley Ramirez's see-saw career continued this week when the Miami Marlins finally threw the towel in and traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Nathan Eovaldi and a prospect (via Jim Peltz of the L.A. Times).
Once the jewel acquired from the Boston Red Sox in the Josh Beckett trade, Ramirez's career has seen both ends of the spectrum. In 2009, Ramirez hit .342 with 24 home runs and 106 RBI and finished second in the MVP voting to a guy names Albert Pujols. Cut to three short years later, Hanley is hitting under .250 with 14 home runs and 48 RBI.
The once-heralded shortstop, who grumbled when the Marlins signed José Reyes and promptly had to move to third base, had quickly fallen out of favor with the Marlins. For a long period of time, Ramirez was considered one of those guys you build a franchise around. After all, he is a former Rookie of the Year, a three-time All-Star and won the batting title in 2009—not to mention even after what some are calling his "decline" at the ripe old age of 28, he is a .300 career hitter.
How quickly things change.
One may recall that in May 2010, Ramirez was benched for not running out a ground ball. Fredi Gonzalez, then the Marlins' skipper, and Ramirez immediately clashed. "That's okay. He doesn't understand that. He never played in the big leagues," Ramirez said, according to The Miami Herald, after Gonzalez benched him. Almost immediately, the Marlins were forced to choose: their manager or their young, talented franchise cornerstone. (Gonzalez is now the Atlanta Braves manager, in case you were wondering.)
Fast forward a couple of years and stories leak out that Ramirez sliced open his hand after punching a fan and consequently forgot to take his antibiotic, thus getting a hand infection that kept him out of action for a couple of days. Miami had enough of Ramirez' lackadaisical play and attitude and shipped him out to LA.
The Dodgers needed infield help and saw Hanley Ramirez as a fit for them. The Marlins aren't sending the Dodgers any money in the deal, which means the Dodgers must really like what they see in Ramirez, a career .388 hitter at Dodger Stadium.
The fact that the Dodgers could acquire a player with the resumé of Hanley Ramirez and not have to "give up the farm" in order to get him could be one of the bigger steals in recent memory. That's all dependent, however, if Hanley remembers to take his medicine and run after ground balls this time around. If so, Dodger Dogs may be available well into October.
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