It might not be long before Hanley Ramirez finds a new home.
Orioles general manager Dan Duquette already acknowledged that Baltimore is considering signing Ramirez, confirming a report that surfaced over the weekend from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. No other team has publicly expressed interest in the 34-year-old, but Cafardo speculated Monday that the Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros and others could explore the possibility.
Ramirez was hitting .254 with six home runs, 29 RBIs and a .708 OPS in 195 plate appearances when the Red Sox designated him for assignment. He struggled for much of May, but the three-time All-Star had a very good April, suggesting he still has something left in the tank.
It’ll be interesting to see which teams emerge as legitimate suitors for Ramirez, namely whether National League clubs will be comfortable enough with his defense at first base. It’s possible that most of the interest in Ramirez could come from American League teams, who will have the option of using him as a designated hitter.
A team can sign Ramirez at the pro-rated portion of the $550,000 veteran minimum. The Red Sox already owe him roughly $15 million for the remainder of this season, but his $22 million vesting option for 2019 — which would have triggered with 302 more plate appearances — no longer is valid following his release.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports