The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

Hanley Deal Doesn't Mean Panic for Giants

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The Dodgers picking up Hanley Ramirez shouldn't freak out the Giants. He hasn't been the hitter he once was for quite some time.

    The San Francisco Giants don't need to panic because the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for Hanley Ramirez. Does this seem obvious?

    Good: that means you're not necessarily a member of the lunatic fringe who are freaked out by L.A. busting a move for the disgruntled Marlins star ahead of the trade deadline. (And this fringe is not some exclusive club, either; media members are there too.)

    The first reason not to freak out is that the Hanley deal is getting waaaaaay more hype than it should. Ramirez was one of the top offensive players in baseball several years ago, but his OPS+ hasn't been above average 2010. He hasn't hit above .250 since then either, hasn't played in more than 100 games since then, and hit 24 home runs and stole 34 bases the last two years combined.

    Assuming that the old "change of scenery" move will suddenly cause him to revert back into a talented offensive player is silly. Even if he does, he's not going to reinvent the Dodgers as some offensive powerhouse. In fact, there might be more evidence for Hanley hurting the Dodgers -- read some of these quotes Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald gathered from his former Marlins teammates. They HATED HIM.

    “You can push some things aside when you’re hitting .340 with 40 home runs," an anonymous player said. "You say ‘He’s a [jerk], but I can deal with it. ... But when you’re not playing and you’re trying to be that same [jerk], it starts rubbing people the wrong way."

    Logan Morrison didn't need anonymity when channeling his inner Forrest Gump, saying, "It would be good to have Hanley Ramirez hitting .342 like he did in 2009 still here. But other than that, that's all I'm going to say about that."

    So yeah, not a popular dude. If things don't go well in Los Angeles, we could see a similar implosion.

    As for the Giants themselves, they're still a better team than the Dodgers. Making a trade in the fashion of "keeping up with the Joneses" is the dumbest thing you can do in sports. That's the type of trade you make that ends up costing you prospects, ends up netting you a player at less-than-market value and ends up making you regret your decisions down the road. And with the talent the Giants have at the MLB level -- relative to what the Dodgers have -- it would be like America getting in an arms race with Canada.

    The Giants are in first place by 2.5 games as of Thursday morning. They're going to start a series with the Dodgers on Friday. Win that series and the Giants are set up for a strong push down the stretch.

    In addition, they can do what they've wanted to do at the trade deadline all along: grab a bat or two if there's someone there for cheap, and pick up some relief help to bolster the bullpen.

    Bad news on Pablo Sandoval's hamstring might change those plans a little bit. But the Dodgers adding Hanley shouldn't have any effect whatsoever.