BOSTON (CBS) — Hanley Ramirez’s second stint with the Boston Red Sox is officially over.
Ramirez cleared waivers at 1 p.m. on Friday and the team released the slugger shortly after. The 34-year-old first baseman/designated hitter is now free to sign with any team that wants him.
Boston designated Ramirez for assignment last week to clear a roster spot for second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Ramirez got off to a hot start to the season, hitting .330 in April with three homers and five doubles, but cooled considerably over the last few weeks. He hit just .163 with no homers in the month of May.
Ramirez was well on his way to reach the minimum number of at-bats that would have automatically triggered the 2019 season option in his contract, which would have paid him $22 million. Now Boston is on the hook for the remaining $15 million this year.
Any team that signs Ramirez won’t have to worry about that option now. Though he had his struggles in May, Ramirez will likely find a home on a contender in need of a bat off the bench. While he only hit .260 with a .450 slugging percentage over the last four seasons with Boston, he was one of the few members of the Red Sox to swing a good bat in the postseason the last two years, hitting .423 with four doubles and five RBIs over seven games.