While the rumors have been there the past few days, we are all waking up to the shocking news that Hanley Ramirez has actually been sent out of Florida. According to Ken Gurnick of mlb.com (click here for the article), Ramirez & Randy Choate have been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for RHP Nathan Eovaldi & RHP Scott McGough.
The Dodgers Get:
It’s obvious that the Marlins had long grown frustrated with Ramirez in regards to his attitude, as well as other issues. It’s possible the addition of Jose Reyes prior to the season and his move to third base helped contribute to Ramirez’ struggles this season, but that really isn’t an excuse. He is currently hitting .246 with 14 HR, 48 RBI, 49 R and 14 SB.
It’s the second consecutive season he has struggled in the average department, after hitting .243 a year ago. That said, he currently has a .271 BABIP (.275 last year), a number you would expect him to improve upon given his .333 career mark.
In addition to the assumed resurgence thanks to a change in scenery, the bigger question may be how the Dodgers plan to use Ramirez both short and long-term. With Dee Gordon on the DL it is possible that Ramirez plays shortstop and leads off initially, before eventually shifting to third base and likely batting fifth.
Obviously, depending on where he hits will help us determine if we are looking at a player who is going to score a lot of runs (leadoff) or drive in plenty (hitting fifth). Either way, you have to like his value joining Matt Kemp and Andre Either in the Dodgers lineup.
Considering Ramirez has not yet played a game at shortstop this season, fantasy owners will be watching closely. Not that his value will be impacted significantly for 2013, but if he can be shifted between third base and shortstop you get that much more flexibility.
As for Choate, he’s a middle reliever with little fantasy appeal.
From the Dodgers side, fantasy owners are simply hoping that a change in scenery will help revive Ramirez. It’s a pretty good bet.
The Marlins Get:
While Eovaldi has struggled in the Major Leagues this season (4.15 ERA, 1.47 WHIP), he has significant potential. Baseball America ranked him as the team’s third best prospect entering the season and said:
“Eovaldi has a power arsenal, led by a heater that works at 94-98 mph with good downhill angle and occasional late life. His fastball touched triple digits when he came out of the bullpen in the majors. He has a wrist wrap in his arm action that has led to inconsistency, but he did a better job in 2011 of staying over the rubber longer and allowing his arm to clear, aiding his fastball command. Eovaldi ditched his curveball after 2010 and developed an 85-91 mph slider that’s a plus pitch with tilt and late movement at its best. His changeup is fringy but good enough to keep hitters honest. His key going forward will be to throw more strikes.”
He has averaged 94.5 mph on his fastball in the Majors this season, though he has not yet shown the strikeout potential (5.43 K/9). He has more upside than that, and also has shown a good groundball rate (47.8%) and good control (3.20 BB/9). Assuming the strikeouts improve, that’s the makeup of a successful pitcher.
Time will tell if he can get there, but I would look for him to slide immediately into the Marlins rotation. Long-term, he has the stuff to form a formidable top of the rotation with Josh Johnson (assuming he’s not traded) and the recently acquired Jacob Turner.
McGough is 22-years old and right-handed relief pitcher working at High Single-A. In 35 appearances (47.1 IP) he has a 3.99 ERA, 48 K and 26 BB. He also has 5 saves this season and 15 since being drafted in the fifth round in 2011. He needs to fine tune his control if he wants to excel, but it’s obvious the Dodgers saw him as a potential closer given the save opportunities.
It’s hard to say that the Marlins got equal value for Ramirez, as I think the return was lower than anyone would’ve imagine. Still, the potential of Eovaldi joining Josh Johnson & Jacob Turner in the rotation is intriguing. It could also be addition by subtraction for the team, allowing them to now build around Mike Stanton and Jose Reyes. Time will tell how this all plays out.
What are your thoughts of the trade? Did the Dodgers get fair value? Will Ramirez be reinvigorated in Los Angeles?