It was almost 4 a.m.by the time the Red Sox flight from Tampa landed in Boston, and within 12 hours, Hanley Ramirez's locker already was cleared out, his clubhouse stereo silent.
"We're going to put him in a spot where, I do feel, he's going to be a run producer", Cora added. But the major factor is that he has another $22-million salary for 2019 in an option that will automatically vest if he accrues 497 plate appearances this year.
At 34 and seemingly declining in ability, Ramirez is unlikely to make in the neighborhood of $22 million per season in the future.
Ramirez tweeted Friday afternoon: "Thank you Red Sox Nation".
As for his production, that's no loss either.
Of course, freeing themselves of Ramirez can also do some good for the Sox. In his four seasons with the Red Sox, he provided above-average offense in only 2016.
The Fenway faithful clearly missed Dustin Pedroia.
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Swihart, a career.260 hitter with a.687 OPS, could be the DH on days J.D. Martinez is in the outfield. With Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez as your utility guys, plus Blake Swihart and a backup catcher, there simply wasn't room to carry Ramirez anyway.
They'll never say the option was a factor - a grievance from the MLBPA would surely follow - but ultimately, the Red Sox decided Ramirez wasn't worth that headache.
The Blue Jays are on the hook for the money regardless if Morales is on the team or not so why not follow suit like the Red Sox and cut ties with Morales once and for all.
Ramirez signed a four-year deal worth $88 million following the 2014 season. First and foremost, Ramirez hadn't been doing badly this season. Sandoval's weight issues made his future murky. It was going to be hard. Since '03 the Sox are 85-57 in NL parks, 91-58 including the World Series. The Cardinals had had success in the postseason.
Stuck in first place and burdened with the best record in the major leagues, the Red Sox felt compelled to make a bold roster move on Friday morning.
The signings would cost Cherington his job. He's just glad to be back on the field. They combined for minus-2.2 WAR. "It was a two-run game, Steven (Wright) comes in and he didn't blink". He didn't hit in 2017 and was released. Add in the salaries of Pablo Sandoval ($18 million), who was released previous year, and Rusney Castillo ($11 million), who was taken off the roster and is playing in Triple-A Pawtucket, and the Red Sox are paying $44 million for players not playing in Boston.