I was chatting with my fiance on my drive to work and she told me that the Dodgers had just traded for a shortstop. She said he had a big contract and that Dodger fans were supposed to be really happy. But she couldn’t remember the name.
I immediately started having Jimmy Rollins nightmares. Why would the Dodgers trade for Jimmy Rollins? He’s old. He hits .220. He’s just going to block the path of Dee Gordon.
Then I got to work and saw that it was Hanley Ramirez. And I breathed a sigh of relief and did a little happy dance.
This trade makes a whole lot of sense for the Dodgers. One, Ramirez can play both short and third, where the Dodgers have been atrocious this year. They have seen a few bright spots from Gordon, but mostly it has been growing pains, including his current stint on the D.L. So while he is currently hurt, Ramirez can fill in, and when Gordon returns, he can slide over to third so that the Dodgers don’t have to play the corpse of Juan Uribe (currently batting .190) any longer.
Second, he’s a viable offensive threat not named Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. The talk of the Dodgers trading for another starting pitcher was totally fine, but their real need was another legit bat. Some will doubt whether Ramirez is that anymore since he is hitting .246 this year, but no one will question that he is more talented than the rest of the marginal players that fill the L.A. lineup (Mark Ellis, James Loney, Juan Rivera and A.J. Ellis come to mind). Ramirez is a three-time All-Star, a former MVP and has hit .342 before. How many other shortstops in the history of baseball can claim that? This is an A-list talent we are talking about.
The Dodgers also didn’t have to give up any of their top prospects in the trade. Nathan Eovaldi was a decent starter in the big leagues, but he is never going to develop into anything more than a No. 3, back of the rotation type guy. Top farmhands like Zach Lee and Rubby De La Rosa, who have a chance to join Clayton Kerhsaw at the top of the rotation someday, remain in Dodger blue.
My favorite part of this trade is that it’s a complete departure from the Frank McCourt tenure. Gone are the days of having to find bargain deals at the trading deadline. General manager Ned Colletti is wetting his pants thinking about all the cash that he has to spend now that the new ownership group led by Magic Johnson actually isn’t bankrupt. This is how the Dodgers should be. They should be a buyer. They should be able to flex their muscles here and there. They should be relevant.
But please, Ned, just because you got money to spend doesn’t mean you have to go out and trade for Jimmy Rollins. You got a good thing going here, don’t have to overdo it.