Dodgers Report: Adrian Beltre

How much is Hanley worth to the Dodgers?

January, 2, 2014
Jan 2
9:37
AM PT
A few weeks ago, Hanley Ramirez mentioned to reporters in the Dominican Republic that he was working on a contract extension with the Dodgers. A few days later, he posted a photo of himself on Instagram with the comment, “Going to L.A. Good news!”

[+] EnlargeHanley Ramirez
Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesHanley Ramirez looked like his former self when healthy last season, but are the Dodgers willing to bank on him and give him a long-term commitment?
Turns out the Instagram post was just a joke and Ramirez’s agent told MLB.com he was actually headed to the Dominican Republic with no extension imminent.

Clearly, there’s something going on, however. Locking up Clayton Kershaw for a decade or so hasn’t proven easy, so the Dodgers appear to have turned to in-house priority No. 2: making sure Ramirez sticks around beyond November 2014.

Seems like a good idea. Ramirez was as dangerous as any hitter not named Miguel Cabrera last season. When he was healthy, the Dodgers were among the deepest lineups in baseball. When he was not, as in the final few games of the National League Championship Series, they were mediocre, sometimes worse than mediocre. His impact, when he came back from his first stint on the disabled list, was even more profound than Yasiel Puig’s arrival.

What’s a player like that worth? That’s a difficult question to answer because his 2013 season was such a departure from the previous two. His batting average in 2011 and 2012 was .252, his on-base percentage .326. He averaged 17 home runs and 62 RBIs and played well below-average defense at either shortstop or third base. His WAR was barely replacement level.

Then came 2013, in which Ramirez’s production once again matched his enormous talent. He hit .345 with a .402 on-base percentage, slugged .638, had a 5.4 WAR and played roughly average defense at shortstop, according to UZR.

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Kershaw rises to the occasion, such as it was

March, 9, 2012
3/09/12
4:06
PM PT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- What happens in spring training stays in spring training. Not that it's all that salacious or interesting. Just that it will mean absolutely squat once teams pack up and leave here in a few weeks, and that no one will remember any of it anyway. We know this because we have the ability to reason and think logically.

Still, there is a small part of us, the fan in us, that wants to make more out of what happened in the first three innings of the Los Angeles Dodgers' Cactus League game on Friday, a 9-0 victory over the Texas Rangers before 6,221 at Surprise Stadium.

Clayton Kershaw, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, made what was officially his first start of the spring -- unofficially, it was his second -- against what essentially was the everyday lineup for the Rangers, the two-time defending American League champions and one of the best offensive teams in the game.

And Kershaw basically had his way.

In becoming the first Dodgers pitcher to go three innings, Kershaw shut out the Rangers on three hits with one walk and didn't allow a runner past second base. He also made a beautiful stab of a comeback liner by Adrian Beltre, catching it an inch off the ground, and picked Nelson Cruz off first base with his characteristically deceptive move.

It might not have meant much in the proverbial grand scheme. But to the paying customers, for whom spring-training baseball is mostly a potluck venture, it was like hitting the jackpot.

"With the exception of (catcher Mike) Napoli, they had everybody in there,'' Kershaw said. "It's always good to start out against one of the best teams.''

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Yasiel Puig
BA HR RBI R
.316 12 54 59
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Gonzalez 15
RBIA. Gonzalez 70
RY. Puig 59
OPSY. Puig .943
WZ. Greinke 12
ERAC. Kershaw 1.76
SOZ. Greinke 153