Hanley heads group of Dodgers' free agents
ST. LOUIS -- Shortstop Hanley Ramirez will be the initial focal point of the free-agent season for the Dodgers, who were eliminated from the postseason with Tuesday's 3-2 loss in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.
Ramirez, who missed 34 games with an assortment of ailments, was looking for a big season to establish his value. When that didn't pan out, an impactful postseason could set him up for a big payday.
He wound up hitting .429 in the National League Division Series, going 6-for-14 with one double and two RBIs.
The Dodgers must decide if they want Ramirez back, and if they will extend to him a qualifying one-year offer of $15.3 million by the fifth day after the World Series. That would assure the Dodgers of a compensation Draft pick if Ramirez rejects the offer and signs elsewhere, but it also gives Ramirez the choice of accepting the offer and committing him to the Dodgers for one year.
Aside from the money, the biggest unknown with Ramirez is where he would play. Most clubs consider him a liability at shortstop and would prefer to move him to third base or first base. Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe is signed through 2015 and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is signed through 2018.
Among other decisions: Chad Billingsley, coming off two major elbow operations, has a team option for $14 million or a $3 million buyout that figures to be exercised. Paul Maholm, recovering from knee surgery, is a free agent, as are midseason acquisitions Roberto Hernandez and Kevin Correia and veteran reliever Jamey Wright.
Dan Haren has qualified for a $10 million player option, but even Tuesday night said he hadn't decided whether he will accept it. Brian Wilson has a $10 million option that he is expected to accept.