Red Sox Designate Hanley Ramirez For Assignment

Red Sox's J.D. Martinez celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Fenway Park Friday

Could Hanley Ramirez be on the Twins' radar? - 1500 ESPN Twin Cities

In a somewhat stunning move, Ramirez will be designated for assignment on Friday, the Boston Globe reported, giving the Red Sox seven days to trade or release the slugger.

Ramirez is hitting.254 this year with 6 home runs and 29 RBI.

Friday's move ends a frequently rocky three-plus seasons in Boston in Ramirez's return as a free agent, signing a four-year, $88 million deal, with the team for which he made his Major League Baseball debut in 2005.

Boston Red Sox designated hitter Hanley Ramirez watches his bases-loaded walkoff single in the twelfth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, April 5, 2018.

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There was speculation was that the Red Sox would designated Blake Swihart to make room for Pedroia. The 34-year old provides zero value defensively and has looked lost at the plate for most of the season. Swihart, the No. 3 catcher and a rarely used left fielder, has appeared in only 17 games for Boston. "We really do like Mitch Moreland a lot", Dombrowski said.

However, Ramirez carries a $22 million option for 2019 that automatically vests if he reaches 497 plate appearances this season, per Spotrac. Pedroia was 1 for 14 (.071) during a five-game injury rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket. 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.

"We just think it's time to make that move and put Mitch in the lineup more", Dombrowski said. "He feels good. He's not having any pain so we think that he'll be fine to go out there but we are going to be careful in that regard". Third baseman Pablo Sandoval was given a $95 million, five-year deal and released last July 19.

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