Hanley Ramirez Open To Extension With Dodgers

Hanley Ramirez is a year and a half away from free agency but the shortstop told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that he would be happy to discuss an extension with the Dodgers if the team broached the subject.  "Definitely, because I want to stay here," Ramirez said. "I want to stay here forever."

Offseason thumb surgery and a hamstring injury have limited Ramirez to just 142 PA this season, but he returned to the Dodgers lineup in early June and has been in great form ever since.  Ramirez is hitting .386/.444/.693 with eight homers and appears to be back on track after disappointing seasons in 2011-12.  Ramirez credited the Dodgers training staff with helping him return to full fitness, one of the reasons he wants to stay with the club over the long term, not to mention the fact that the Dodgers are focused on contending.

Ramirez signed a six-year, $70MM extension with the Marlins in May 2008 that covered the 2009-14 seasons, and Ramirez will earn $16MM in the final year of that deal.  The Dominican Republic native will be 31 years old on Opening Day 2015 — the back end of his prime, but still young enough to secure another strong contract in free agency, especially if he keeps hitting. 

The Dodgers, of course, haven't been shy about adding big contracts and signing key players to major extensions.  The club is guaranteed to spend at least $122MM on payroll in every year through the 2017 season and could sign Clayton Kershaw to an extension worth a minimum of $180MM.  Shortstop Corey Seager was ranked as the third-best prospect in the Dodgers system by the Baseball America Prospect Handbook (behind only Hyun-Jin Ryu and Yasiel Puig) and he's hitting well at A-ball, but Seager is only 19 years old and "likely will face a move to third base at some point" according to BA, so Ramirez could help solidify the shortstop position in L.A. for years to come.

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