Grade That Trade! Big Fish Hanley Ramirez Edition
Last night, I was totally excited to go to bed and get a full night’s sleep for the first time all week. And then right as my night was winding down…*Buzz*. Dodgers acquire Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins.
I nearly fell out of my seat. As a Dodger fan, this was the news I’d been waiting to hear for weeks – finally, another bat to complement Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in the middle of our lineup (Ramires is hitting .245 with 14 homers and 47 RBI so far)! And to think, the Dodgers only gave up a high-ceiling starter in Nathan Eovaldi and a decent Single-A reliever, Scott McGogh.
Not only that, but the Marlins threw in lefty specialist Randy Choate, something the Dodgers also sorely needed. Despite Scott Elbert’s (the lone lefty in the Dodgers ‘pen before the trade) solid season, left-handed hitters were very successful against him this year.
Coming into this trade deadline period, I was adamant that the Dodgers improve on at least three of these five areas: left field, first base, third base, lefty relievers, starting rotation. In one trade, they scratched two of those off the list, and are still in talks to acquire an outfielder from the Phillies (they are closely eyeing Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence) and trying to finalize a deal with the Cubs for starter Ryan Dempster.
Is this the trade that will push the Dodgers back to first place in the NL West? Does this lock down a playoff spot for a squad that had more ups and downs than Space Mountain?
Time will tell. But on paper, the trade looks like a complete steal for Los Angeles.
It’s understandable that the Fish wanted to unload Ramirez. He was unhappy from day one with moving to third base to make room for Jose Reyes at shortstop. He’s had his attitude problems in the past, and is currently recovering from a hand injury he sustained from punching a fan out of frustration.
Well, I’d be frustrated too if my team wasn’t playing up to expectations. Ramirez should be ready to play and fully recovered here soon, and he’s coming to a much better team environment than he left in Miami.
The Dodgers manager, Don Mattingly, is the polar opposite of Ozzie Guillen. Mattingly is calm and collected and knows how to lead a team through turbulence. Additionally, Ramirez will learn from stand-up veterans like Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Bobby Abreu, etc.
All signs point to this being a fantastic trade for the Dodgers. Ramirez won’t even get a chance to be a prima donna in this clubhouse, and the additional bat in the middle of the lineup has to strike fear into opposing teams. A 3-4-5 of Kemp, Ethier and Ramirez is one of the best in all of baseball now.
Let us not forget who the Marlins got in this deal. Despite struggling a bit of late, Eovaldi is a big, hard-throwing right hander who has shown flashes of brilliance at the big league level already. He hits 97 on the gun regularly, has a pretty good curveball, and is developing a change-up to go with it. Also, Eovaldi is just 22 years old – plenty of time to grow.
In the last two days, the Marlins have acquired two big, right-handed starting pitching prospects and a host of other lower-level minor league guys. But, they’ve traded half their infield and one of their established starters. Anyone who thinks this team is not in fire sale mode, needs to lay off the booze.
There is no doubt that the Dodgers won this trade. That’s how it was designed. L.A. gets an impact bat for NOW, Miami gets some building blocks for the future. But the real question is, how would you grade this trade by the Dodgers?
Take into account that they didn’t have to give up prized prospect Zach Lee, but they took on Hanley’s entire contract, and vote in the poll below!
– Jeremy (@Jamblinman)