Red Sox Ready to Release Hanley Ramirez

The Boston Globe – According to a major league source, the Red Sox informed Ramirez Friday morning that they will designate him for assignment in order to open a spot on the major league roster for Dustin Pedroia, who is returning from the disabled list after his rehab from offseason knee surgery.

The Red Sox are responsible for more than $15 million remaining on Ramirez’s salary through the duration of this season. They will have seven days to trade or release him.

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I did not expect Dealer Dave to drop this bomb the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. Sure, Hanley’s had a tough week. He’s hitless in his last five games, but he did have a hit in ten of his last eleven games before this skid. How bad could things really be going for him?

Well, Hanley’s batting average for the month of May is .163. His batting average stood at .330 on April 30, but today stands at .254. His OPS on the season stands at .708. The only Red Sox regulars with a lower OPS are Eduardo Nunez, Jackie Bradley and whoever the hell the catcher is on a given night.

The Red Sox had the luxury of having three guys for two positions essentially. Hanley, Mitch Moreland and J.D. Martinez were sharing time at first base and DH. With Martinez locked in at the plate, and under contract for four more seasons, and Moreland playing better for much less money, Hanley was the man left standing when the music stopped in this game of musical chairs.

Sure, the Sox could play Martinez in the outfield more to get Bradley out of the lineup and to get Hanley in as the DH. But Jackie Bradley plays superb defense and is not 300 plate appearances away from $22 million next year. Bradley’s a younger, cheaper option with more upside.

The Red Sox have a week to trade or release Hanley. It’s hard to imagine any team trading for him, and taking on more salary than they need to. If they wait a week, they can pick him up for a lot cheaper and leave the Red Sox on the hook for most of his salary. And it’s hard to imagine that Hanley’s Red Sox career isn’t over. I don’t see him walking back into that clubhouse after being DFA’ed.

It’s another bold move by Dombrowski. Another one of Ben Cherington’s big signings has been shown the door. But let’s give credit to Dombrowski. As surprising as the move may be today, I’d rather pay $15 million for a problem to go away instead of $47 million for a year and half of a .708 OPS.

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