Red Sox designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment in surprise move

Red Sox 2B Pedroia to make season debut

Red Sox 2B Pedroia to make season debut

Boston also leads the majors with a.266 team batting average, and is about to get back former AL MVP Dustin Pedroia, with the second baseman making his season debut this weekend against the Atlanta Braves. Boston Sports Journal's Sean McAdam reports that another executive speculates the Red Sox are trying to protect against a grievance by Ramirez. But we're about to find out if they're a better one. He was batting.341 with three home runs and 17 RBI's.

"I felt his role was going to diminish", Cora said.

Less than two weeks ago, Ramirez hit the eventual game-winning homer in a 5-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Ramirez returned to Boston as a free agent in 2015, signed by General Manager Ben Cherington - who was the Red Sox farm director when Ramirez was with the Sea Dogs. That established, finances nearly certainly played a role in the decision - Ramirez was 302 plate appearances away from having his $22 million option vest for next season.

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Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said Ramirez's vesting option did not factor into the Red Sox's decision. He'd already racked up 195 (he's appeared in 38 of the Red Sox's 50 games), and at that rate would definitely make it to 497. Given the slump he's in, and the way Mitch Moreland has been playing (.311 average, 1.001 OPS), it's odd that change in playing time hasn't happened yet.

Dombrowski told reporters that manager Alex Cora suggested the move to designate Ramirez. Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt are more likely options if they aren't in the field, but Swihart is moving up the depth chart with Ramirez gone. Riley Williams III restored cartilage, and the Red Sox said then he was expected to miss more than the first month of the season. Ramirez had never played the outfield before and had been injured in three of the previous four seasons. "It was a two-run game, Steven (Wright) comes in and he didn't blink". It's tough. I haven't spoken with him yet. "He needs his at-bats".

"He didn't really say very much", Dombrowski said. "Love you always", Ramirez tweeted.

Ramirez finishes the Boston portion of his season with an 88 OPS+, but that number belies the highs and lows he's experienced. In cutting him altogether, the Red Sox dodged a storm that was bound to come. And if he does end up playing for another team, that team wouldn't have to pay any part of that $15 million - they would only owe Hanley the league minimum, $545,000.

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