Hanley Ramirez Designated for Assignment by Red Sox

Hanley Ramirez Designated for Assignment by Red Sox

Hanley Ramirez Designated for Assignment by Red Sox

"I'm going to start getting more work at first", said Swihart. If Ramirez has 1,050 plate appearances during the 2017 and 2018 seasons combined, he'd be owed an additional $22 million for 2019.

Boston has seven days to trade Ramirez or release him.

As for his production, that's no loss either. 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.

The Fenway faithful clearly missed Dustin Pedroia. 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. J.D. Martinez is the regular DH, and when he plays the outfield, you can slide Pedroia into the DH role.

With Holt, Nunez and Swihart, the Sox could, in theory, have three utility players available to them on the bench.

Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said Ramirez's vesting option did not factor into the Red Sox's decision. After winning the 2013 World Series, the Red Sox fell to 71-91 in 2014.

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. He's a good player.

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And sure, the Red Sox now have flexibility to acquire a defensively-challenged slugger at the trade deadline, if that ever became a need. The Cardinals had had success in the postseason. Additionally, Ramirez is an expensive line to cut, with the Red Sox responsible for what remains on his $22 million salary.

The signings would cost Cherington his job. They combined for minus-2.2 WAR. Meanwhile, the man the Sox traded to get him, Travis Shaw, has 42 home runs and 132 RBI in 193 games for the Brewers.

One of his first moves was to put an end to the Ramirez-as-left-fielder experiment that Ben Cherington wanted and move him to first base. For $183 million, the Red Sox received a combined minus-0.7 WAR.

When Ramirez's struggles this month continued, Cora said the team - and Ramirez - were better served with him gone.

The question is whether or not this could have been predicted. Sandoval was obviously a red flag, especially in leaving his comfort zone in San Francisco.

Manager Alex Cora had Pedroia batting sixth, saying: "I don't want to break up the top two".

That the Red Sox would bet on Swihart being a more valuable asset to them in the future is an easy bet. Still, it's not fun handing over $40 million to two players not on your roster.

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