The Los Angeles Dodgers added an impact bat for their postseason push early Wednesday morning, acquiring star infielder Hanley Ramirez in a four-player trade with the Miami Marlins.
It was the second multiplayer trade in less than 48 hours for the Marlins, who have begun a July fire sale after disappointing through the first four months of this season.
A three-time All-Star, Ramirez expressed mixed emotions over being dealt away from the Marlins, where he has spent the first seven years of his career.
"For me this day is not easy, the Marlins have been my family, the only one I had in baseball," Ramirez told ESPNdeportesLosAngeles.com's Enrique Rojas. "I will never forget who gave me that first opportunity that every human being needs. They will always be in my heart."
The Dodgers also acquired left-handed reliever Randy Choate from Miami for starter Nate Eovaldi and minor-league right-hander Scott McGough.
Ramirez, 28, is a former National League Rookie of the Year and led big league shortstops with 124 home runs and a .521 slugging percentage from 2006 through 2010. But Ramirez has been a major disappointment over the past two seasons. He moved to third base this past winter to accommodate free-agent addition Jose Reyes but is batting just .246 with a .752 OPS for the Marlins.
"I leave with some regret, not having helped bring a championship to Miami," Ramirez said "But otherwise, I just keep positive memories of my time with the team."
The Dodgers are hoping that Ramirez will be reinvigorated by a change of scenery and give them another run producer to complement Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in the batting order. The Dodgers rank 12th in the NL with 379 runs scored and are 13th in OPS at .684.
"The addition of a hitter the caliber of Hanley Ramirez improves our lineup from top to bottom, inserting a proven run producer to go along with Matt and Andre," Dodger general manager Ned Colletti said in a statement. "We're excited for Hanley to begin a new chapter in Los Angeles."
Ramirez is making $15 million in the fourth year of a six-year, $70 million contract. He's scheduled to make $15.5 million in 2013 and $16 million in 2014.
"Everything that happens in life is because of God's plan and perhaps the plan for me is that things are better in Los Angeles and for the Marlins without me," Ramirez said.
Ramirez could play either spot on the left side of the infield for the Dodgers. Shortstop Dee Gordon is currently on the disabled list with a torn ligament in his right thumb that could sideline him until mid-August and is batting only .229 with 17 RBIs.
The Dodgers haven't gotten much production from their third basemen, with Juan Uribe batting just .190 with two homers and 17 RBIs and others doing little at the spot.
The Marlins recently decided to try to unload several veteran players and big salaries in the midst of a disappointing season. The Ramirez deal comes less than two days after Miami traded pitcher Anibal Sanchez and infielder Omar Infante to the Detroit Tigers.
The Marlins are weighing offers for ace Josh Johnson, according to ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney, in an attempt to further shave payroll. Miami also could deal struggling closer Heath Bell in advance of next week's trade deadline, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
Choate, a 36-year-old left-hander, is 0-0 with one save and a 2.49 ERA in 44 games. He began his big league career with the New York Yankees in 2000 and has pitched for Arizona and Tampa Bay.
Eovaldi, a 22-year-old righty, is 1-6 with a 4.15 ERA. He made his major league debut last season.
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