The trend in Major League Baseball is that teams do not allow their top potential free agents to ever actually hit the market. And while oftentimes this means a contract extension years before a player’s contract actually runs out, the Los Angeles Dodgers are interested in getting Hanley Ramirez locked up during the last year of his deal.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said that the team wants to get a deal done with Ramirez before he hits free agency:
Colletti said he would still like to sign Ramirez to a contract extension. Ramirez is in the final year of a six-year, $70-million contract.
‘He’s still somebody we’d love to have back,’ Colletti said.
Colletti said he has made it a point to share that sentiment with Ramirez’s agent, Adam Katz.
For all of the weapons that the Dodgers have in their lineup, their lineup is never truly clicking without Ramirez mashing in the middle of it. When he is there the Dodgers can be an overwhelming force, something that was on full display last year as they charged to first place. Coming off a huge 2013 campaign in which he batted .345/.402/.638/1.040, Ramirez has sputtered a bit to start 2014 (.257/.339/.447 in 152 at-bats).
That he will produce likely is not a concern for the Dodgers. Health would likely be the only consideration if the club were to hesitate on an extension, but Ramirez’s production when he is right would more than justify such a move.