Dodgers Acquire Hanley Ramirez & Randy Choate For Nate Eovaldi & Scott McGough

According to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the Dodgers have traded Nate Eovaldi and Scott McGough to the Marlins for Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate.

I’ll have complete analysis (with all the nerdy stuff) in the morning, but for now, my gut reaction is that it makes sense for both teams.

Regardless of what position he ends up playing, Hanley figures to be a gigantic improvement over the unholy combination of Juan Uribe, Dee Gordon, Adam Kennedy, Elian Herrera, and Luis Cruz. The production the Dodgers are getting from both 3B and SS is just terrible, and it’s not like they were playing quality defense either, so Hanley’s questionable glove shouldn’t burn the team too often.

While I am admittedly excited by the gigantic upside of this deal if Hanley figures it out again, it’s not without risk. After all, there’s a reason the Marlins let him walk with 2 1/2 years of team control remaining.

First of all, Hanley is signed through 2014 and is still owed $31 million over the next two years, including whatever he’s still owed in 2012. Additionally, his batting line has been woeful (by his standards) since 2010, clocking in at .245/.328/.405/.732. Plus, as I mentioned, he’s not a good defender, regardless of where he plays, and there are very real concerns about his motivation and happiness. Normally I would dismiss this as media inflated crap due to him under-performing, but then I consider that his hand got infected because he forgot to take his antibiotics, and you start to wonder.

Choate, the other half of this deal on the Marlins side, also makes sense for the Dodgers. Lefties are batting .150/.200/.183/.383 (yes, really) off him in 2012, and while there’s nothing wrong with Scott Elbert, he’s actually effective against righties much more than lefties in 2012.

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For the Marlins, Eovaldi should be a solid rotation contributor, though I think his upside still lies as a #3 because his off-speed stuff lags behind his fastball. From the Dodgers perspective though, they have a ton of arms in the system, and with both Rubby De La Rosa and Ted Lilly due back soon, plus a potential trade for Ryan Dempster/Matt Garza, Nate was an understandably expendable piece. It wouldn’t shock me if the Dodgers lose this trade in terms of surplus value in the end, but I think the deal makes sense, regardless.

Who is McGough though, right? I wrote about him back in February and nothing much has changed yet. I still think he can be a MLB contributor in the bullpen, but he’s not going to be an elite guy and the Dodgers have a ton of arms, so his inclusion isn’t all that important to me.

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Overall, I feel the deal makes sense for both sides. The two teams want to go in different directions, and with the free agent market dwindling for the Dodgers, they could afford to absorb salary in exchange for upgrades/upside beyond 2012, and they did exactly that. Meanwhile, the Marlins cleared a contract and a headache off their slate and got solid cost-controlled pieces in return, at least one of which can contribute to the team immediately.

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