Hanley to LA! (HANLEYWOOD?)
HANLEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!That’s one of the first tweets I sent out. It followed only a cheap shot at Juan Uribe.* If you’re wondering why, it’s because the Dodgers traded Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate in exchange for Nathan Eovaldi and a minor leaguer (some people might not have heard, OK!). When you are literally minutes away from hitting dreamland only to find out that one of your favorite players – a Rookie of the Year & 3-time All-Star, in his prime – has been sold traded to your favorite team it’s hard to put a coherent thought (or good joke) together.
*Juan Uribe is, by far, my least favorite Dodger. He has been from the second he signed that horrible contract. In fact, he might be my least favorite Dodger of my lifetime. And since you’re wondering: Yes, I root for him to do well; No, I don’t wish for him to get injured, but as we get to closer to the playoffs…. All I’m saying is, “you never know.”
The news reached me in funny way. There I was, watching The Wire, when around 11:35 my phone buzzed. Knowing how late it was, I was in no rush to check my texts. Especially because I was deeply embedded in The Wire! Anyways, a few minutes before midnight, right as I’m about to turn off the TV I open this text, from my buddy* Huff: “Hanley…” And that set it all off. I checked my twitter feed, saw multiple accounts retweeting the news, and was immediately overcome with excitement. After waking everyone in my contact list, I decided there is no effing way I’m not writing about this….tonight!
*When you click hyperlinks on this website, I would recommend right-clicking them and selecting “Open in New Tab. I’m not technologically advanced enough to make them automatically do that, but if you have any tips comment below or send them to TheLogicalBias@gmail.com.
Why get excited over a player who thru 92 games has hit .246/.322/.430? Which is only a slight improvement on last seasons (also 92 games) .243/.333/.379. Because we’ve seen what he can do before! In multiple seasons!!! Yes, that required multiple exclamations! From 2006-2010 Hanley was a top-5 player in all of baseball. He had every tool you could ask for and came up just short of an MVP campaign in 2009. Should I really believe that he lost it all that fast?
Sure, last season was extremely disappointing, but there aren’t many who think Hanley was healthy. This season has been more of a disappointment, but what’s the reason? The new ballpark? The forced switch to third base? A desire to hit 40 homeruns that has made his swing unbelievably long?* I don’t know the reason, but I do know that it’s not age. If I haven’t mentioned it, Hanley is only 28 years old! He’s in his prime. Am I to believe that he is getting substantially worse in his prime?
*I don’t know the reasoning, but I do know that Hanley’s swing looks very long, leading to a lot of swing and misses on fastballs up in the zone.
There are those that think baseball players peak at age 27. Some think age 29. Nothing is definitive, but we know Hanley is in that range. Joe Posnanski created a graph tracking when players put up great seasons. Of course, age 28 is right in the middle of the peak. A player of Hanley Ramirez’s talent has the potential to put up great seasons all the way through age 33 or 34.* Did I mention that his contract only runs through his age 30 season? That means if he approaches his previous averages, the Dodgers could extend him for 3-4 years. All for the cost of Nathan Eovaldi!
*Never would have said this 15 years ago. So long Steroids Era!
He may never be a 7-Win player again, as he was in 2008 & 2009, but he could definitely be a 4- or 5-Win player. After you have spent $2 billion on a team, I think it’s worth a few measly millions to get a player who can bring that kind of production and provides pop to an extremely pop-less lineup.
It’s now the middle of the night and I need to get some sleep. Hopefully, Hanley will do something special so that The Logical Bias can put some more excited, but this time: coherent, thoughts together. In the meantime, look for a podcast discussing this trade (and more!) at some point this evening.
It all comes down to this Dodgers fans: Do you think a change of scenery can spark Hanley Ramirez to produce at previous levels? My answer is yes, I do. And even if he never reaches those heights, what he is giving us now is vastly better than what we’ve had the past 2 seasons.
Follow Kelvin on Twitter @Kmota11 or e-mail at email@example.com