BOSTON (CBS) — Hanley Ramirez will no longer be a member of the Boston Red Sox.
Ahead of the activation of Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list, the Red Sox designated Ramirez for assignment. The team confirmed the news in a press release, but Alex Speier of The Boston Globe first reported the news.
It means that the team will have seven days to trade or release Ramirez.
Ramirez was well on pace to reaching the minimum number of at-bats which would have automatically triggered the 2019 season in his contract, which would have paid him $22 million. Instead, the Red Sox appear to be willing to pay $15 million this year to end Ramirez’s tenure with the team.
Ramirez, 34, got off to an exceptional start to the season. He batted .330 in April with an .874 OPS, hitting three home runs and five doubles while driving in 17 runs. But in May he has cooled considerably, hitting .163 with a .500 OPS. He’s hit zero homers and just two doubles in the month of May, while driving in 12 runs.
Manager Alex Cora said in spring training that Ramirez was going to be the Red Sox’ No. 3 hitter, and Ramirez started 38 of his 46 games in the starting lineup in the No. 3 hole. (He batted second six times.)
It was widely expected and assumed that the Red Sox would be designating Blake Swihart for assignment to free up a roster spot for Pedroia, but the Red Sox clearly made a different decision. The move to get rid of Ramirez could open up some playing time for Swihart, who’s gotten just 33 plate appearances this season.