The Los Angeles Dodgers have worked out a multiplayer trade to acquire former NL batting champion Hanley Ramirez from Miami, the second big deal in as many days for the disappointing Marlins.
A person familiar with the trade told The Associated Press about the swap on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement.
"Like I say, they're always gonna be in my heart, seven years, never gonna forget in my life," Ramirez said Wednesday about his fans. "They showed me a lot of support."
The Dodgers will also get reliever Randy Choate while the Marlins will receive pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and a minor leaguer.
"Maybe it's time for a fresh start for Hanley, maybe it's time for a fresh start for the Marlins," said Larry Beinfest, President of Baseball Operations. "We could not figure out why Hanley, with all his talent, in his prime, was hitting in the mid .240s."
Multiple media outlets reported the deal late Tuesday night. The deadline to make trades without waivers is next Tuesday, and several stars including Ichiro Suzuki, Wandy Rodriguez and Kevin Youkilis already have been on the move to contending teams.
A day after the Marlins sent pitcher Anibal Sanchez and infielder Omar Infante to the Detroit Tigers for pitching prospect Jacob Turner and two minor leaguers, Miami traded with another playoff hopeful.
"Good move," said one Marlins fan Wednesday. "It's about time. I wanted to see Hanley gone."
Two other fans told NBC 6 they were disappointed with the trade.
The 28-year-old Ramirez is hitting .246 with 14 home runs and 47 RBIs, far from his big season in 2009 when he hit .342 with 24 homers and 106 RBIs. The All-Star, who called the day of the trade "one of the hardest days," shifted from shortstop to third base this season to make room for newly acquired Jose Reyes.
Ramirez and the Marlins have fallen short of expectations this year. Miami lost 4-3 to Atlanta on Tuesday night and dropped to 45-52.
"We would've liked to have made a better showing, there's no doubt about it, but there's no sugarcoating it," said Beinfest. "We did not achieve up to our expectations."
He then told NBC 6 he could sympathize with Miami Marlins fans.
"We're concerned about everything," he said. "Because of the complete disappointment we have in this ball club, you know I understand the fans' frustration and we'll take it and we understand it, but we're trying to get better."
The Dodgers lost at St. Louis 8-2 and are 2 games behind NL West-leading San Francisco. Los Angeles got off to a terrific start this season, but hit a skid and fell out of first place.
Ramirez could play either spot on the left side of the infield for the Dodgers. Dee Gordon is currently on the disabled list with a torn ligament in his right thumb that could sideline him until mid-August, and is batting only .229 with 17 RBIs.
The Dodgers haven't gotten much production from their third basemen, with Juan Uribe batting just .190 with two homers and 17 RBIs and others doing little at the spot.
Choate, a 36-year-old lefty, is 0-0 with one save and a 2.49 ERA in 44 games. He began his big league career with the New York Yankees in 2000 and also has pitched for Arizona and Tampa Bay.
Eovaldi, a 22-year-old righty, is 1-6 with a 4.15 ERA. He made his major league debut last season.
The Marlins are scheduled to play the Dodgers Aug. 10.