MLB Rumors: Hanley Ramirez and the Boston Red Sox are parting ways, according to a Boston Globe story that says that the Red Sox are designating Ramirez for assignment to make room on the active roster for second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who is being activated from the disabled list today. Ramirez is in the final year of a 4 year, $88 million deal that the previous Red Sox regime signed him to, and that generally has not worked out for the BoSox.
Ramirez, 34, has a .254/.313/.395 slash line this season while playing first base and DH. Though Ramirez had played shortstop and third base prior to being signed by Boston, the Red Sox signed him with the intent of playing him in left field. He was awful out there, however, and has mostly played DH and first base since. Ramirez’s 2019 option for $22 million vests if he accumulates 497 plate appearances this season, and avoiding that possibility could be a motivating factor for the BoSox.
Ramirez put up a 3.3 bWAR in 2016, but has a total of 0.6 bWAR in the other three years of his deal with Boston, and has a .260/.326/.450 aggregate slash line for Boston during his most recent stint there. Ramirez originally was a Boston international signee, and was traded to the Marlins in the 2005-06 offseason in a deal that brought Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Boston. Rangers fans may recall that the Rangers were also negotiating with Florida for Beckett, and were prepared to send John Danks and Hank Blalock to the Marlins, but balked at including Joaquin Arias in the deal.
The Red Sox will now have seven days to waive, trade or release Ramirez. No one will claim him if he is waived, so their best hope is to trade him to a team that will pay a portion of his salary. That seems unlikely, however, and Ramirez will presumably be a free agent this time next week.