I'm pleased to see Hanley being extended by the Dodgers. He's been a new favorite of mine. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Hanley Ramirez is on an EXTENDED Flight to L.A.

Hanley Ramirez was on a Friday night flight to Los Angeles, and he put up the evidence on Instagram with the caption “To Los Angeles… Good News!!!!”

That’s four exclamation points.

How many millions does each exclamation point equal? Hanley and the Dodgers have been negotiating an extended contract, and it looks as though the agreement is imminent.

I took an informal poll on Twitter, and most Dodger fans who responded thought that Hanley would get between a 3-6 year deal. After the Yankees spending spree which saw Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Hiroki Kuroda, and Carlos Beltran in their shopping cart during checkout, a long-term contract to the former batting champion Ramirez doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

 

Carlos Beltran scores big on Friday with a new contract with the Yankees. Photo: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

Some may feel that Hanley is injury prone, and he should prove to the Dodgers that he is healthy in 2014 before being awarded a new contract. That is just not realistic. Hanley is looking for a long-term situation, and he has already publically said that he wants to finish his career as a Dodger.

The right-handed slugger’s injuries last season were partly fluky. A Joe Kelly fastball in the ribs and a torn thumb ligament while playing in the World Baseball Classic were freakish injuries. He also has recurrent back issues, and he hurt his hamstring last season. But when he’s healthy, he’s one of the best hitters in the league.

With one of the most beautifully natural swings I have ever seen, Hanley Ramirez is truly a gifted hitter. Although defense isn’t his strongest point, he still can man shortstop just fine and he was pretty solid down the stretch last year. Many suggest that the Dodgers move Hanley over to third, but I say not yet.

Hanley is an integral part of a championship Dodger team. If it weren’t for that ribbing he got in the first inning of the first game of the NLCS, the Dodgers would have most likely been able to clip the wings of those birds with Hanley’s bat. After all, he only hit .500 with 8 hits including a homerun, 4 doubles, a triple, and 6 RBIs in the NLDS. What might have been…

Next season the Dodgers will hopefully see what could have been with a full season of a healthy

Hanley. Even though Hanley has to receive treatment for his back issues, his positive attitude and dedication to the sport really helps to overcome any obstacles that stand in his way. The 86 games we watched Hanley play in were phenomenal, and if he had played more he would have been in the running for NL MVP.

Hanley is finishing a 6-year $70 million contract that he signed with Miami, and now the 29-year old Dominican looks to ink a long-term deal with the Dodgers to finish off his career. The Dodgers still have Corey Seager, who will be the Dodger shortstop or third baseman of the future, and perhaps in two years Hanley and Seager can share the infield. After Ellsbury’s ridiculous sounding $153 million deal with the Yankees, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a large sum given to Hanley.

The Dodgers have been modest so far this offseason, and other than signing Alexander Guerrero, Dan Haren, and Brian Wilson, the Hanley deal will be the largest until of course the Clayton Kershaw contract is worked out.

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Tags: Carlos Beltran Hanley Ramirez Los Angeles Dodgers

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