It’s official. Hanley Ramirez no longer is a member of the Boston Red Sox organization.
The Red Sox officially released the first baseman/designated hitter Friday, one week after designating him for assignment. Ramirez now is a free agent who can sign with any team.
Boston could have traded Ramirez after designating him for assignment, or another team could have claimed the 34-year-old slugger off waivers. But Ramirez is owed $15 million for the remainder of this season, and his contract with the Red Sox also included a $22 million option that would have vested if he accumulated another 302 plate appearances. Teams understandably didn’t want to absorb that deal.
Now, the Red Sox are on the hook for the money Ramirez is owed this season, but he can sign anywhere for the pro-rated league minimum. And the vesting option won’t apply to the contract he signs with his next club, therefore making him much more attractive than he was as a trade or waiver candidate.
Ramirez should garner interest across Major League Baseball. Not only did he have a strong April before struggling in May, but he’s also a three-time All-Star with power and a track record of postseason success. Perhaps he could make an impact in a part-time role.
Ramirez is hitting .254 with six home runs, 29 RBIs and a .708 OPS in 195 plate appearances this season.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images