Hanley Ramirez has entered his walk year.
Ramirez and Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter each expressed interest in completing a contract extension eight months ago, but the two sides have not reached a deal, and Ramirez can file for free agency after the season.
Ramirez could be the premier position player available in free agency, if he gets there, when contract values for star players are escalating rapidly. The other top position players eligible to hit the market appear to be fellow infielders Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres and Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants.
Ramirez, 30, was the Dodgers’ biggest bat last season. The Dodgers also count on him as a mentor for Yasiel Puig.
Ramirez declined to say whether he and the Dodgers are discussing a new deal.
“I’m just playing baseball,” he said.
He also declined to say whether he would halt negotiations when the season starts, as some players do.
“Nice talking to you,” he said.
Ramirez said he wants to remain with the Dodgers.
General Manager Ned Colletti declined to discuss the status of negotiations but said the team remains interested in signing Ramirez.
“Of course,” Colletti said.