The Los Angeles Dodgers are continuing their talks with shortstop Hanley Ramirez on a long-term deal, but there seems to be a mild bit of discrepancy between what Ramirez is asking for and what the Dodgers were thinking about giving him. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, there is a "significant enough gap" between the two camps that an extension is likely to need more time.
Ramirez is presumed to be asking for a contract in the range of $130 million, likely over a six-year period, which would carry him through his age-36 season. So far this season, Ramirez is hitting .252/.331/.440 with five home runs and fifteen doubles, good for a 121 wRC+ but well below his career mark of 132.
Age is of particular concern for the Dodgers, as is Hanley's recent injury history. Last season, he played in just 86 games for Los Angeles. Though he did happen to earn 5 WAR in his limited time, hitting .345/.402/.638. Though that was the only serious injury that Ramirez has suffered over the past several seasons, position players on the wrong side of 30 have a tendency to go on the disabled list far more often than their younger counterparts.
Whether or not the Dodgers can free up enough money to sign Ramirez comes down to a couple of mitigating circumstances, the most prominent of which is what to do about their outfield situation. Matt Kemp looks as though he is back to being Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig should be your favorite National League outfielder, and Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, and the surprisingly productive Scott Van Slyke are all still floating around as outfield possibilities.
It was thought, over last off-season, that Matt Kemp made the most sense to be traded, considering his price tag and injury history. But now, Crawford's OBP is .294 and with full-season interleague games, carrying that extra bench/DH guy is not out of the question.
Of the Dodgers current outfield, Ethier, Crawford, and Kemp are all signed through 2017, Yasiel Puig is better than all three of them, and Scott Van Slyke is deserving more and more playing time.
It's quite the conundrum to be in, and an embarrassment of riches that any other team would be glad to have. But if the Dodgers plan on re-signing Hanley Ramirez, then one of them is likely to be traded.