The Boston Red Sox are trying to move first baseman (ha ha) Hanley Ramirez in a deal this offseason, according to Nick Cafardo of BostonGlobe.com. Cafardo lists the Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Angels, and Baltimore Orioles as the top targets for Ramirez, but lists two reasons why there may be trouble moving him to any of these locations:
“One is money. With a little more than $68 million remaining on Ramirez’s deal, the Red Sox would need to eat at least half. The other hurdle is position. All three teams would have use for him as a DH.”
Ramirez signed a four-year, $88 million contract with the Red Sox last offseason, and is owed $22.75 million for each of the next three seasons, with a $22 million vesting option for 2019.
The right-handed slugger has spent the majority of his career at shortstop, has played sparingly at third base, but played left field in 2015. Things did not go very well, as he recorded -19 Defensive Runs Saved and -17.8 Ultimate Zone Rating in his first year in the outfield.
Ramirez didn’t do that well at the plate either, slashing .249/.291/.426 with 19 homers, 53 RBIs, and 89 wRC+ in just 430 plate appearances in 2015. This could have been partly the result of missing significant time on multiple occasions this season, including a shoulder injury in late August that sidelined him for the remainder of the 2015 campaign.
Cafardo noted the obvious in his report: The Red Sox will have to eat a very good chunk of Ramirez’s contract to be moved to one of the Mariners, Angels, or Orioles this offseason. I will take a look at why he is — and is not — a fit for each of the three teams listed. Let’s start with Seattle.