Dodgers Acquire Hanley Ramirez

The Dodgers have acquired SS/3B Hanley Ramirez and LHP Randy Choate for RHP Nathan Eovaldi and RHP Scott McGough.

The Players

Hanley Ramirez, 28, is a recently converted third baseman but began his career as a shortstop. The 2006 Rookie of the Year and three time All Star has 148 home runs and 230 stolen bases in his first 945 games in the league.

Randy Choate, 36, is a left-handed reliever. In his career, he's held left-handed batters to a line of .203/.277/.285 in 704 plate appearances.

Nathan Eovaldi, 22, is a right-handed starting pitcher. In his brief major league career, he's posted a 3.96 ERA in 20 career appearances, including 16 starts.

Scott McGough, 22, is a right-handed reliever. Drafted by the Dodgers in the 5th round of the 2011 draft, McGough has reached High A and posted a 3.99 ERA there in 35 games.

The Good

The Dodgers finally acquire a promising bat for the left side of the infield. Ramirez is just two seasons removed from being considered a star. At 28, he has time to turn things back to the way they were from 2006-2010. If his arrival spells the end of the Uribe/Kennedy era at third, it's two birds with one stone.

Choate is a capable lefty out of the pen, which is something the Dodgers have been seeking this season. He's completely shut down lefties this year, allowing just a .383 OPS to them this year.

While Eovaldi is young and a hard-thrower, he's struggled to find a strike out pitch thus far in his career (though this may have changed very recently). While he improved his control this year, he sacrificed missing bats and was surrendering 10.1 Hits per 9 innings.

McGough is a relief prospect who doesn't project as a closer, so his status was not that of a top prospect. He has posted strong numbers in the minors but is yet to prove himself against advanced competition.

The Bad

While Ramirez is two years from being a star, he's currently considered a disappointment. His average has plummeted from over .300 to under .250. His defense was never anything special at short and he profiles just to be okay at third.If he doesn't turn things around, it's unlikely that he'll be worth the $31.5 million he's owed over the next two seasons.

Choate is a short term answer, a one year rental. The Dodgers have some lefties on the farm (Scott Rice, Eric Eadington, Steven Rodriguez) that should be ready next year.

Eovaldi's most recent start showed something new: strikeouts. He has started using a cutter that has promise. At 22, he's still young enough improve one of his offspeed pitches and become more than an innings eater.

McGough could develop into a setup man in the future, though the Dodgers have plenty of hard-throwers in their system.

The Verdict

The Dodgers are taking a necessary risk to improve their offense. They pick up a guy who's a definite upgrade on the left side of the infield. The organization really needed bats and got one of the more talented players in the league. If he doesn't turn things around, though, Hanley could feel some heat for the fanbase.

I was surprised the Dodgers weren't forced to give up Zach Lee, their top prospect, but that's not to say Eovaldi isn't a valuable trade chip. He hasn't shown top of the staff stuff thus far but he's certainly young enough to improve.

Overall, I like the move for LA and think Ramirez can provide a capable #5 hitter with a chance to get back to where he was. The club has pitching to compensate for the loss of Eovaldi, with Ted Lilly set to return before long and promising youngsters like Lee, Allen Webster and Ethan Martin waiting in the wings.

Dodger fans should be excited about having another potential star in the lineup.

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