Dodgers interested in extending Hanley Ramirez

Marc Serota

The Dodgers are interested in giving shortstop Hanley Ramirez a contract extension after the season controlling owner Mark Walter told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.

"I think a guy like Hanley Ramirez, he's a special, special player," Walter said. "If you know where we could find five more, we'll take them all. I don't think there are five more."

Ramirez will earn $15.5 million this year and $16 million next year.

"Hanley's a special guy," Walter said. "He's fun in the clubhouse. He inspires other people. He hits the ball harder than anybody else."

Ramirez's current contract ends at the end of the 2014 season. If the Dodgers approach him about an extension, Ramirez said he would be open to a contract.

"Definitely, because I want to stay here," Ramirez said to the LA Times. "I want to stay here forever."

The Marlins traded Ramirez and Randy Choate to the Dodgers on July 25, 2012 for Nathan Eovaldi and Scott McGough. At the time, Ramirez had worn out his welcome with Miami and the team was looking to deal some of its valuable chips to rebuild.

After missing the beginning of the season due to injury, Ramirez has been spectacular for the Dodgers and a large part of why the team is in first place. The 29-year old Dominican shortstop is hitting .348 with 13 home runs, 42 RBI with a .395 OBP in 64 games.

Longterm contracts are far from uncharted territory for Los Angeles. The Dodgers have five players signed through the 2017 season in Matt Kemp (2019), Adrian Gonzalez (2018), Zack Greinke (2018), Carl Crawford (2017) and Andre Ethier (2017). The team is also trying to sign ace Clayton Kershaw to a long term deal.

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