Hanley Ramirez signed a huge deal with the Boston Red Sox ahead of the 2015 season. It doesn’t look like he’ll be finishing it out. The team just abruptly designated him for assignment.
Ramirez has had a pretty mediocre season for an otherwise strong team. He’s hitting .254, with six home runs and 29 RBIs in 195 plate appearances. Those numbers aren’t great, nor are his advanced stats.
However, he probably could help a big league club in some capacity. The main problem: a lurking detail in his contract.
If Ramirez reaches 497 plate appearances this year, he is guaranteed another $22 million next year. From The Boston Globe:
With a total of 497 plate appearances this year, Ramirez would be guaranteed another $22 million next season. He’d already accumulated 195, and was on pace to blow past the required number of plate appearances to secure his salary for next season. The Sox were prepared to let the 34-year-old stay in the lineup and let the option vest if his production warranted it.
Ramirez is being DFA’d to make room for star second baseman Dustin Pedroia. He is set to return from off-season knee surgery that has cost him roughly two months at the start of the year.
Even with Hanley Ramirez struggling and Pedroia out, the Red Sox sit a game up on the Yankees in the AL East.
The Red Sox are currently 34-16. That is good for the best record in all of baseball right now.
The team is being paced by Mookie Betts, who is having an MVP-caliber season. Betts is hitting .362 on the year, with an amazing OPS of 1.188. He has 16 home runs and 35 RBIs, along with 19 doubles and 12 steals.
With Ramirez’s 2019 contract issue, it seems very unlikely that another team will take a shot on him right now. It will be very interesting to see what happens with the rest of his season.