Deals at the trade deadline continued to roll on this week with yet another superstar landing on a new team, as the Los Angeles Dodgers landed Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins.
Trading Places: Dodgers Land Hanley Ramirez
Wednesday July 25th, 2012
In exchange for Ramirez, the Dodgers also landed lefty reliever Randy Choate from Miami. In exchange for the two players, the Dodgers sent young starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and minor league pitcher Scott McGough to the Fish.
The Ramirez trade was another move from owner Jeffrey Loria, as he continues to sell off the team. Earlier this week, the Marlins traded several starters to the Tigers.
After a sluggish and injury plagued 2011 season (.243/.333/.379) - many thought Ramirez would bounce back to superstar status with a new manager, new stadium, and a new position (3B). However, in 2012, Ramirez has yet to find consistency, hitting .246/.322/.430 with a .752 OPS and 14 home runs. In eight big-league seasons, Ramirez is a career .300/.374/.499 hitter with a .873 OPS and 148 home runs.
In addition to Ramirez, the Dodgers also acquired left reliever Randy Choate. Choate, 36, pitched for four different teams during his 12 year career. This season while with the Marlins, he has a 2.49 ERA in 44 appearances with 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
The Dodgers have not decided where to play Ramirez upon his arrival in Los Angeles. The team could use him at either the shortstop or third base position. With Dee Gordon on the disabled list, the team will likely have Ramirez fill in at SS, and then move him over to third base when Gordon returns. The Dodgers have used a mixed bag of players at third base this season, with 7 different players hitting a combined .246/.306/.369 with a .675 OPS.
With the departure of Ramirez, the Marlins will likely use a platoon of Greg Dobbs and Donovan Solano at third base moving forward. If you remember back a few weeks ago, the Marlins traded Matt Dominguez to the Houston Astros for veteran Carlos Lee.
The Marlins will add Nathan Eovaldi to their starting rotation for the rest of 2012 and beyond. The 22-year-old righthander has limited big-league experience and holds a 2-8 record in 20 appearances with a 3.96 ERA while with the Dodgers. In 10 starts this season for LA, he's 1-6 with a 4.15 ERA and 5.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Although his win-loss record doesn't appear to be "good" to the casual baseball fan, he's just 22 and is still growing into a big-league pitcher.
In addition to Eovaldi, the Marlins also acquired minor-leaguer Scott McGough. McGough, 22, is a right-handed reliever currently playing at the high-A level for the Dodgers. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2011 MLB Draft. In 34 games this season, he holds a 3-5 record with a 3.88 ERA and 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
From a fantasy perspective, perhaps the biggest news is that Ramirez will keep his shortstop eligibility for 2013. He had SS and 3B eligibility this season, but stood to loose that headed into next season after playing third base for the Marlins all season. Fantasy owners have been disappointed with Ramirez for the past two seasons, but as they say, perhaps a change of scenery will help. However, while hitting on the road this season, Ramirez is batting .187/.251/.363 in 44 games. At home in Miami, he's hitting .303/.387/.494 with a .882 OPS.
In addition to his production numbers being down, I also looked at Hanley's approach at the plate this season. Thanks to Brooks Baseball, Dan Brooks, and Baseball Prospectus, you can see Hanley's swing percentage on all pitches this season.
While Hanley may have found a new home on the West Coast, his approach at the plate this season has him appearing that he's lost when searching for a pitch to hit.
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