Hanley Ramirez’s defense at shortstop only cost the Dodgers a perfect game Wednesday night. What might it cost the team in September and potentially October? What might it cost Ramirez in free agency after that? Many expected the Dodgers to sign Ramirez to an extension by now. It hasn’t happened, in part because the Dodgers want to see him stay healthy, in part because they might not be sure what the heck to do with him long term. Third base could be a possibility, but the Dodgers would need to trade Juan Uribe, a popular clubhouse figure who is under contract for $6.5 million next season. Some Dodgers officials have toyed with the idea of playing Ramirez in left field, but you may have noticed that the team has too many outfielders already. Maybe the Dodgers could win the 2014 World Series with Ramirez at short — heck, the Red Sox pulled off such a feat with Julio Lugo in ‘07. Advanced metrics, however, portray Ramirez as one of the worst defensive shortstops in baseball. And strong up-the-middle defense should be a requirement for a team built around starting pitching, no? Erisbel Arruebarrena, a Cuban defector in the first year of a five-year, $25 million contract, was a major defensive upgrade in his brief stint with the club. But the Dodgers have said that they do not want to shift Ramirez between short and third, perhaps out of respect for Ramirez’s wishes. Besides, Uribe could return from his strained right hamstring on Monday.
Does Ramirez hurt Dodgers more than he helps?
Fox Sports | Jun 20