As was promised by their new owners, this appears to be a new era for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers made one of the most significant and stunning trades in the history of the franchise late Tuesday, acquiring three-time all-star Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been formally announced.
In exchange for Ramirez and left-handed reliever Randy Choate, the Dodgers sent rookie starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and minor-league pitcher Scott McGough to the Marlins.
PHOTOS: Great moments in Dodgers historyThe Dodgers will be adding about $38 million in financial commitments, almost all of which will be invested in the talented but temperamental Ramirez, the 2009 National League batting champion.
The Dodgers will be paying all of what remains on Ramirez’s contract. Ramirez, 28, is still owed about $6 million of his $15-million salary this year. He will earn $15.5 million next year and $16 million in 2014, the final year of his contract.
The last time the Dodgers made a trade of this magnitude was in 2008, when they acquired another Ramirez -- Manny Ramirez -- from the Boston Red Sox at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The Dodgers reached the first of two consecutive National League Championship Series that year.
Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter said last week that President Stan Kasten and General Manager Ned Colletti would be under no financial restrictions leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline.
“I’m not trying to save a dollar,” Walter said. “I’d rather say we have a great team and maybe spend a little too much.”
Andre Ethier was signed to a five-year, $85-million contract extension last month. Cuban outfield prospect Yasiel Puig, who hadn’t played organized baseball in more than a year, received a seven-year, $42-million deal shortly after.
The Dodgers might not be done dealing. With pitcher Ryan Dempster of Chicago Cubs capable of blocking a trade to any team and seemingly reluctant to move to the Atlanta Braves, the Dodgers remain in play to land him, a person familiar with the situation said.
Ramirez suddenly became available as a result of the Marlins’ disappointing performance. To prepare for a move into their new stadium, they signed shortstop Jose Reyes (six years, $106 million), starting pitcher Mark Buehrle (four years, $58 million) and closer Heath Bell (three years, $27 million). But sitting near the bottom of the National League East -- they are currently in fourth place at 45-52 -- they decided to unload a a team member who was once considered their franchise player.
Ramirez is hitting a modest .246, but has 14 home runs and 47 runs batted in.
The 2006 NL rookie of the year, Ramirez has batted as high as .342 and hit as many as 33 home runs. He is a career .300 hitter with 148 home runs to his name.
Ramirez has been slowed in recent seasons by a shoulder injury he suffered in 2010. He underwent a season-ending operation last year.
He has sometimes been the subject of controversy, as what appeared to be halfhearted defensive efforts resulted in conflicts with his former manager, Fredi Gonzalez.
With the Dodgers, Ramirez figures to hit anywhere from first to fifth in the lineup. He stole 51 bases in each of his first two major league seasons; he stole 32 bases as recently as 2010.
Ramirez played shortstop until this year, when he moved to third base to accommodate Reyes. With Dee Gordon on the disabled list, Ramirez figures to return to shortstop. When Gordon returns, Ramirez could move to third base -- or not.
In Choate, the Dodgers get the left-handed reliever they were hoping to land. Until now, Scott Elbert has been the only left-hander in their bullpen.
The Dodgers will be Choate’s fifth team in 12 major-league seasons. Left-handed hitters are batting .150 against him this season.
Eovaldi, 22, replaced a sidelined Ted Lilly in the Dodgers rotation. Victimized by poor run support, he was 1-6 with a 4.31 earned-run average.