Don Mattingly points at Hanley Ramirez following the Dodgers' victory… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)
Of course Hanley Ramirez would like to stay with the Dodgers. That should shock absolutely no one.
He spent most of the last seven seasons playing on bad Marlins’ ballclubs, teams never in a race, that finished an average of 18 games out a year. In a city where he had reputation as something of a malcontent. Where they were unloading payroll.
He has another year left on the six-year, $70 million contract extension he signed with the Marlins in 2008. That’s a lot of money, but maybe nothing compared to the potential of his next deal.
Ramirez is currently playing for the richest team in baseball. On a team currently playing better than any team in baseball. In a clubhouse where he is liked.
That’s pretty much a perfect situation for a guy to be having an outstanding season, which perhaps not so surprisingly, Ramirez is. This is called very good timing for Ramirez.
Mark Walter, the Dodgers controlling owner, told The Times' Dylan Hernandez prior to Friday’s game he was “absolutely” interested in talking to Ramirez this offseason about a contract extension.
“I think a guy like Hanley Ramirez, he's a special, special player,” Walter said. “If you know where we could find five more, we'll take them all. I don't think there are five more.”
Bells and whistles must have gone off in Ramirez’ head when he heard, fireworks must have exploded from his ears.
Ramirez told Hernandez he would eagerly agreed to talk extension if the Dodgers approached him this off-season.
“Definitely, because I want to stay here,” Ramirez said. “I want to stay here forever.”
Ramirez has been on the disabled list twice this season with somewhat freak injuries, but since he’s returned, has been their best and most feared hitter.
The only reason to give the Dodgers pause is he will be 30 in December. So maybe he doesn’t get a six-year deal, but outside of the Yankees, who else is likely to offer Ramirez the kind of money he’s currently working toward?
Ramirez is batting .348 with power. He has 13 homers and 42 RBI in 224 at-bats, with a .395 on-base and .629 slugging percentages.
When Matt Kemp had his outstanding season in 2011 for the Dodgers he hit .324/.399/.586. Then he signed an eight-year, $160-million contract. He was also 27 years old.
Right now Ramirez is playing some outstanding baseball, in an ideal situation, and making himself some serious money.