At this time last year, the Boston Red Sox had already signed Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez to long-term contracts, signaling that the team was attempting to make a big playoff run. After a down year that resulted in the Red Sox missing the playoffs, the team, now with Dave Dombrowski in the front office, is attempting to change the look of the team.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that there is “talk in the front office that Dave Dombrowski is trying to trade Ramirez in a deal,” with the Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Angels as targets.
As Cafardo points out, Mariners’ DiPoto and Orioles’ Duquette have varying levels of exposure to Ramirez. DiPoto was in Boston for a couple of months and was around people who were around Ramirez throughout the year, so he should know what Ramirez provides both on and off the field. Duquette originally signed Ramirez with the Red Sox and has “always loved his bat,” Cafardo says.
Ramirez, 31, will be tough to trade, given how he is owed $22 million per year through 2018, also having a $22 million vesting option for 2019, as well as struggling both offensively and defensively.
Earlier this month, five general managers told Cafardo that they wouldn’t trade for Ramirez even if the Red Sox covered half of his remaining salary.
If the Red Sox decide to keep Ramirez, which at this point seems pretty likely, expect him to open up as the teams first baseman on Opening Day.
In 105 games with the Red Sox last season, Ramirez hit .249 with 19 home runs and 53 RBI.
Follow Robert Murray on Twitter: @RobertMurrayBBE.