According to a report from Michele McPhee, an investigative journalist for ABC News, former Red Sox star Hanley Ramirez could be in some trouble. McPhee reports Friday night that Ramirez is “being eyed” in connection with an ongoing federal and state investigation.
There are few details on McPhee’s report so far. But it is interesting that Ramirez was cut by the Red Sox three weeks ago and no other MLB team has signed him since. The move, at the time, was considered a surprise. Maybe now it won’t be.
Radio host Kirk Minihane also alluded to some “crazy” news that is about to break too. The two tweets were sent out within the same hour.
— Michele McPhee (@MicheleMcPhee) June 22, 2018
Some crazy news about to break. Soon.
— Kirk Minihane (@kirkmin) June 22, 2018
Many have noted that McPhee is the same reporter who broke the Aaron Hernandez story back in 2013. That’s not a great sign here for Ramirez.
Ramirez, once one of the game’s best hitters, was hitting .254 when the Red Sox designated him for assignment earlier this year. As noted earlier, no team has signed him since.
It could be a coincidence – and that the Red Sox did make the decision to cut him solely based on baseball. But at the moment, there appear to be a lot of unknowns.
Update: The Red Sox say that they are unaware of the investigation. They also say that their decision to cut Ramirez was a “baseball decision.”
Red Sox VP of media relations Kevin Gregg says that the Red Sox are unaware of any investigation involving Hanley Ramirez. Another ML source familiar with the team's thinking seconded that, and reiterated that the decision to release him was "a baseball decision."
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) June 22, 2018
Update 2: Ramirez’s agent says the former player has no knowledge of the allegations in the report. He also says he’s not aware of any kind of investigation.
Hanley Ramirez’s agent, Adam Katz: “Hanley has no knowledge of any of the allegations contained in this media report and he is not aware of any investigation.” https://t.co/RaKBJdRlK9
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 22, 2018
Update 3: McPhee joined Matty & Nick on WAAF 107.3 with more information about what Ramirez could be facing. We’ve transcribed her comments below:
“So as we all know, a lot of speculation has been swirling around Hanley Ramirez and why he really got dropped from the lineup. I started to get some calls and perhaps Hanley has some issues with the law. Now I can’t go too far, but what I will say, the Red Sox, and the Red Sox spokesperson told me that his removal from the lineup had nothing to do whatsoever with what is being called an ongoing investigation into a very large fentanyl distribution case centered in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
…he may be named in some court records pertaining to a search warrant involving a car stop, where a man who was later arrested for drug trafficking charges FaceTimed the Red Sox infield during the car stop that later led to the seizure of a significant amount of drugs.”
McPhee added that the FaceTime incident was “possibly” two days before Ramirez was released.
There’s a lot yet to unfold here. Stay tuned indeed.