The Los Angeles Dodgers made what is easily the biggest move so far this season by landing shortstop Hanley Ramirez and reliever Randy Choate from the Miami Marlins Tuesday night. The Dodgers sent pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and a minor leaguer to Miami in return.
Ramirez will play shortstop for the Dodgers until Dee Gordon recovers from a torn thumb ligament, after which time he will shift to third base. So far this season, the 28-year-old Ramirez is hitting .246 with 14 home runs and 47 RBI.
The late-night deal is meant to shake-up a stagnant offense that has fallen flat over the past few weeks as Los Angeles continues to fall further behind the San Francisco Giants in the National League West. The Dodgers are hoping a change of scenery will boost Ramirez’s numbers. The three-time All-Star has struggled to find consistency this season.
Ramirez signed a six-year, $70 million deal back in May of 2008, and is due about $38 million through the 2014 season. The Dodgers will assume all of that contract. Los Angeles now has the ability to put Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Ramirez in the three-four-five spots in the lineup, which is a huge upgrade.
Choate is no slouch himself. The veteran left-hander has a 2.49 ERA in 44 appearances for Miami this season.
Eovaldi is a 22-year-old righty who has started 10 games for the Dodgers this year and is 1-6 with a 4.15 ERA.
This is a huge get for the Dodgers and it will reshape the left side of their infield for the foreseeable future. Ramirez has the ability to be one of the best players in baseball when properly motivated. With Ethier and Kemp he’ll be a part of one of the best trios in the majors immediately.
Don’t expect this to be Los Angeles’ last move. The Dodgers are still trying to work out a deal with the Chicago Cubs for starting pitcher Ryan Dempster.