Hanley Ramirez speaks about his trade to the Dodgers during a news conference… (Wilfredo Lee / Associated…)
ST. LOUIS -- Hanley Ramirez joined the Dodgers on Wednesday with the all-star infielder saying it marked "a new beginning" in his career.
The Dodgers acquired Ramirez and left-handed relief pitcher Randy Choate from the Miami Marlins in exchange for pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and minor-league pitcher Scott McGough.
Promptly penciled into Wednesday's lineup against the St. Louis Cardinals, Ramirez was due to play third base and bat fifth in the order.
Before taking batting practice in the sweltering heat at Busch Stadium, many of the Dodgers walked over to Ramirez's locker one at a time to welcome him.
"I'm happy to be here," Ramirez said after team clubhouse manager Mitch Poole handed him a blue Dodgers cap.
Ramirez said he spoke briefly with Manager Don Mattingly and that "he told me to just go out there and play the way you play and keep playing hard."
Ramirez enters the game hitting .246, well below his .300 career average, and he was asked if moving to the Dodgers would give him a fresh start.
"Yeah, why not? It's a new beginning," he replied. "I'll do whatever for the ballclub to help them win some ballgames."
Choate was expected to join the Dodgers later in the evening. In the meantime, the Dodgers optioned reliever Shawn Tolleson to triple-A Albuquerque to help make room on the active roster for Ramirez and Choate.
Were the Dodgers suckers in Hanley Ramirez deal? That's rich