The next piece has fallen. The Miami Marlins have agreed to trade SS/3B Hanley Ramirez and RP Randy Choate to the Los Angeles Dodgers for SP Nathan Eovaldi and RP Scott McGough. This trade was finalized in the early hours Wednesday morning and came to a surprise to me, and many others.

The former face of the franchise has been showcasing another down year hitting wise, .248/14/48, which isn’t much better than his 2011 numbers.

As a fan and Hanley Ramirez supporter, this is a tough trade to see. Players of Hanley’s caliber shouldn’t be hitting like he’s hitting or be traded for what he has been traded for. Nathan Eovaldi is a quality young pitcher in my opinion, but to trade someone with all the credentials that Hanley has, it’s a bummer. Sometimes things just don’t work out and some moves may be necessary to rejuvenate or help restructure a ball club.

Lets talk about some positives in this trade, eh?

RHP Nathan Eovaldi, headline return in trade, is only 22 years old and has posted some quite impressive minor league numbers in his career showcasing a 3.28 ERA. His fastball sits in the mid 90′s and can occasionally reach the upper 90′s. He’s been in the MLB for a few starts with the Dodgers and has a 1-6 record after 10 starts to go along with his 4.15 ERA. He should be in the Marlins rotation sometime soon if not placed there immediately.

Another positive in this trade is that the Dodgers WILL obtain the rest of Hanley Ramirez’s salary for the next two seasons which is nearly $40 million in contract obligations. This trade allows the Marlins to clears about $20 million of the books for next seasons payroll.

Was this trade rushed? Did the Marlins feel pressured to trade Hanley Ramirez now? Should they have waited? I don’t know. Part of me feels that the Marlins should have waited until the off season to gauge market and see if any other team would have been interested. Apparently the Marlins were more focused on getting Hanley’s salary off the books instead of acquiring some top prospects.

The next big piece to be traded in my opinion is Josh Johnson. The Rangers need a SP and the Marlins need a 3B. I think it would be natural that the Marlins try to work out a trade for Rangers 3B/1B prospect Mike Olt along with others for Josh Johnson. It might even take more to acquire Johnson as I hear the asking price is extremely high.

Three Miami Marlins traded. When will the next one be?