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Marlins send Ramirez to Dodgers in four-player swap

The Miami Marlins continued their fire sale Wednesday, trading infielder Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a four-player deal.

In addition to Ramirez, the Dodgers also picked up lefty reliever Randy Choate and sent pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Scott McGough to Miami.

It's the second big trade this week for the fading Marlins, who were expected to contend for the NL East title in their first year in a new ballpark but are a distant fourth in the division. Miami sent infielder Omar Infante and pitcher Anibal Sanchez to Detroit on Monday.

The 28-year-old Ramirez is a three-time All-Star who is batting .249 with 14 homers and 49 runs batted in this season playing third base. He moved from his natural position of shortstop when the Marlins signed Jose Reyes as a free agent last winter.

Ramirez started Wednesday's 3-2, 12 inning loss at St. Louis. He tripled in his first at-bat, roping the first pitch he saw off the wall in center. He later singled in the sixth to tie the game, 2-2. Ramirez finished 2-for-4 with a walk.

Ramirez, the 2006 NL Rookie of the Year and 2009 NL batting champion with the Marlins, is signed through the 2014 season and is due to make $15.5 million next year and $16 million in the final year of his contract. He is a career .301 hitter with 148 homers and 483 RBI in 946 games with Boston (2005), the Marlins (2006-12) and Dodgers.

"The addition of a hitter the caliber of Hanley Ramirez improves our lineup from top to bottom, inserting a proven run producer to go along with Matt (Kemp) and Andre (Ethier)," said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. "We're excited for Hanley to begin a new chapter in Los Angeles."

Choate is 0-0 with a 2.49 earned run average in 44 relief appearances this season.

The Marlins will get a pair of 22-year-old right-handers in the deal.

Eovaldi has compiled a 1-6 mark with a 4.15 ERA in 10 starts this year and is expected to make his Marlins debut Saturday against San Diego. He has received just 1.4 runs of support per start, the lowest in the big leagues.

McGough has made 35 appearances this season out of the bullpen with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and has 48 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings to go along with a record of 3-5, five saves and a 3.99 ERA. He will be assigned to Single-A Jupiter.

The Dodgers made a few roster moves in preparation for the addition of Ramirez. They optioned right-handed pitcher Shawn Tolleson to Triple-A Albuquerque and transferred righty Todd Coffey to the 60-day disabled list.