Red Sox On Verge of Signing Hanley Ramirez

We’ll have a more full write-up on this in the morning, but after a day of rumors, it appears that the Red Sox really are on the verge of landing free agent Hanley Ramirez. Per Ken Rosenthal:

This is a fascinating move in so many ways. For one, it’s far less than I expected Ramirez to sign for — I predicted 7/$140M for Hanley — but exactly the amount the crowd came up with in the crowdsourcing project. Of course, the crowd has been low on pretty much every other free agent contract signed to date, so even signing for the crowd’s expected figure makes it seem like a relative bargain.

But it isn’t just the terms that are surprising. For one, we don’t know where Ramirez might play in Boston, given their rather public pursuit of Pablo Sandoval. Does this mean they know they lost the bidding for Kung Fu Panda, and Ramirez took the deal that they had allocated for their primary third base choice? Or are they still trying to sign Sandoval as well, which would push Ramirez back to shortstop or the outfield, both positions at which the team does not have an obvious need.

This makes more sense if Ramirez was the backup plan at third base, but even then, they’ve openly talked about getting more left-handed, and third base was the obvious spot at which to add a left-handed bat. If it’s Ramirez instead of Sandoval, trades are still likely, given the team’s reliance on right-handed hitting. If it’s Ramirez and Sandoval, then trades are guaranteed, because they just won’t have room for everyone on their roster who deserves to play.

And finally, what does this mean for their pursuit of Jon Lester? The Red Sox could probably afford to add Ramirez, Sandoval, and Lester, but that seems like an offseason of extravagance that goes against what we’ve seen from them before. Perhaps Ramirez was the backup plan not for Sandoval, but for Lester. If they know they’ll be outbid for their preferred starting pitcher, then Ramirez could be added at something near Lester’s price to replace an outfielder like Yoenis Cespedes, who could then be flipped for a starting pitcher.

It’s the kind of move that launches more questions than answers. We’ll try to provide some more answers in the morning with a full write-up on the deal, but until then, speculate away on what you think this deal might mean for the rest of Boston’s offseason.

We hoped you liked reading Red Sox On Verge of Signing Hanley Ramirez by Dave Cameron!

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This is so awesome.