Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti hopes to sign shortstop Hanley Ramirez to a contract extension before the 30-year-old hits free agency after the season. Colletti "made it a point to share that sentiment" with Ramirez' agent, Adam Katz, according to the LA Times' Dylan Hernandez.
Ramirez is in the last year of the six-year, $70 million extension he signed with Miami -- then Florida -- in 2008.
He's hitting .257/.339/.447 in 171 plate appearances this season with five homers, 17 runs driven in, and three stolen bases. Since joining the Dodgers, Hanley has returned to the elite player he was before things soured in Miami. In 189 games with LA, he's hitting .300/.361/.530 with 35 home runs, 118 runs batted, and 20 stolen bags.
He would easily be the top position player available in free agency next winter, and will likely command a multiyear deal worth well over $100 million whether he signs an extension or not. The Dodgers already have an extremely bloated payroll, but they don't seem to be concerned with paying luxury tax penalties. They might have to put up a superficial front on the issue the way the Yankees did before the offseason, even if they have no intentions of following through. The league office put the luxury tax into place in order to even the playing field, and if the Dodgers openly ignore it, they could find themselves on the next commissioner's bad side.