Hanley Ramirez said that if the Dodgers approach him at any time about extending his contract, he would be open to talking.
“Definitely, because I want to stay here,” Ramirez said. “I want to stay here forever.”
Ramirez will become a free agent at the end of the 2014 season. He will earn $15.5 million this year and $16 million next.
“Hopefully, I could stay here the rest of my career,” Ramirez said. “But I can’t control that.”
Ramirez is 29.
The Dodgers have several players with long-term deals: Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier are under contract through 2017; Adrian Gonzalez and Zack Greinke through 2018; and Matt Kemp through 2019. The team is also negotiating a new deal with Clayton Kershaw.
Ramirez never reached the playoffs in his six-plus seasons in Florida with the Marlins. His move to the Dodgers last year offered him a change in clubhouse culture.
“It’s a winning ballclub,” Ramirez said. “It’s all about that W. You don’t worry about anything else. Just win, win, try to make it to the playoffs and to the World Series. There’s a lot of history. Everywhere you go, it’s about that team. Everything is, ‘Let’s win today, let’s win today.’”
Ramirez said winning the World Baseball Classic with the Dominican Republic changed his perspective.
“I got a taste,” he said. “After I tasted that, I want to keep drinking from that cup.”
Ramirez also credited the Dodgers medical staff with helping him revive his career. Not only did Ramirez recover from a broken thumb and strained hamstring this year, he also gained strength in his surgically repaired left shoulder.
“My body feels good,” he said.
Ramirez went into the All-Star break hitting .386 with eight home runs and 25 runs batted in in 39 games.
Ricky Nolasco will start the Dodgers’ first game after the All-Star break, which will be in Washington on Friday. Greinke and Kershaw will pitch the second and third games of that series, respectively.
Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch the first game of the Dodgers’ three-game series in Toronto on July 22. Ryu will be followed by Chris Capuano.
Manager Don Mattingly explained that Kershaw won’t pitch until the third game after the break because he will pitch in the All-Star game.
Mattingly said he also wanted to give extra rest to Ryu, who looked fatigued in his last start. Ryu pitched once a week in his native South Korea and is becoming accustomed to pitching once every five days. Ryu will be pitching on 11 days’ rest.
Kemp should be ready to play July 21, the day he is eligible to be activated from the disabled list, according to Mattingly.
Kemp’s return would fall on the Dodgers’ third game after the All-Star break. Kemp was placed on the disabled list July 6 with irritation in the AC joint of his left shoulder.
There are currently no plans for Kemp to prepare himself by playing in some minor league games, but Mattingly said it might be a good idea.
“I would think a few games would be good from our standpoint to make sure that he’s healthy and from his standpoint timing-wise,” Mattingly said.