Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumors: Hanley Ramirez will be viewed as third baseman in free agency?

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Hanley Ramirez currently plays shortstop for the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers. As far as the course of his career, however, it seems unlikely that Ramirez will be able to call himself a shortstop for much longer.

Set to hit free agency this winter and with contract extension talks decidedly quiet, Ramirez is not having his best season defensively at a key spot at short. His permanent move to third base, a spot he has already played some in his career, seems inevitable and could happen with his next team.

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, that is will likely be the case with Ramirez with one possible and quite notable exception:

Clearly Ramirez will have to move to third base, unless the Yankees get involved and he stays at shortstop to replace Derek Jeter. Ramirez remains a very talented player who can go on tremendous hot streaks at the plate.

Ramirez has an .832 OPS this season to go along with a 140 wRC+ mark. That is the kind of offense that is elite when it comes from the shortstop position but will translate comfortably to the expected production from the third base position.

As for Ramirez’s defense, that has been a struggle this season. According to Defensive Runs Saved, Ramirez has actually cost his team 12 runs already this season (from FanGraphs). He is perhaps most famous this season for costing Clayton Kershaw a perfect game.

It is unsurprising, then, that teams will focus on Ramirez as a third base and not a shortstop candidate.

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Tags: Hanley Ramirez Los Angeles Dodgers

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