Last Friday was a very sad day for Red Sox fans.
Hanley Ramirez was designated for assignment out of nowhere so that Dustin Pedroia could come back onto the roster. Hanley wasn’t even having that bad of a year, but he had hit an 0-for-20 skid and the Red Sox wanted to start the red hot Mitch Moreland at first base. Still, the move was uncalled for and should create outrage.
The Red Sox eased one major concern by signing Adam Lind to a minor league deal to add some first base depth to the system. Still, it really shouldn’t have been necessary in the first place--because they didn’t need to get rid of Hanley!
Blake Swihart is on the roster, and he doesn’t play. Eduardo Nunez is on the roster despite not being able to field a ground ball. Jackie Bradley Jr. is hitting below .200. Swihart was a trade candidate, Nunez could’ve gone on the DL and JBJ had a minor league option. And yet, Hanley was the guy to go.
It seems like the team just didn’t want Ramirez to reach his 497 plate appearances that would trigger a $22 million vesting option for the 2019 season. If they benched him in favor of Moreland, however, that might not have even happened. Why? Easy. Because before Hanley got DFA’d, Blake Swihart was on pace for like 108 plate appearances this season. Apparently, the Red Sox are in a spot where they can barely use their bench guys and still have the best record in baseball. Having a righty power bat on the bench definitely would’ve been nice, even if he couldn’t have played that much…
It’s also worth noting that Hanley had a great personality and was very well-liked by Red Sox fans. If only the PR conscious Red Sox kept this in mind when they made their move.
Wherever Hanley ends up, watch for him to heat up and have a productive season.