For Hanley Ramirez and the Boston Red Sox, it’s the end of an era. Friday afternoon, per ESPN, Boston would designate Ramirez for assignment. This comes after slumping all through the month of May. But it also prompts the question: is this the end? The answer is more than likely somewhere in the middle. His career probably isn’t entirely over, but there’s no way he’s an every day player going forward.
Signed as an amateur free agent by the Red Sox back in 2000, Ramirez would be traded to the Miami Marlins five years later in the deal for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. In seven seasons between Florida/Miami, he would slash .300/.374/.499 with 232 doubles and 148 home runs. But then, a 2012 trade would see him move on to the Los Angeles Dodgers. There he hit .299/.368/.506 with 71 doubles and 43 home runs.
That stint made the Red Sox sign him to a four-year, $88-million deal back in the winter of 2014. Needless to say, he didn’t measure up to the numbers we ended up seeing in Los Angeles. Instead, he put up a .260/.326/.450 triple-slash with 71 doubles and 78 home runs. The left field experience was a disaster. Injuries limited him to just 105 games in 2015. Eventually, the Red Sox did realize that Ramirez playing DH or first base was the better call.
But then the 2018 season would start, and it actually saw him get off to a very bright start. In 110 plate appearances between March and April, he put up a .330/.400/.474 line with five doubles and three home runs. But over 85 May plate appearances, he hit just .163/.200/.300. He’s toast, or so it seems.
In the meantime, the Red Sox are off to a great start, leading the AL East with a 34-16 record. They currently lead the New York Yankees by only one game. And while Ramirez was struggling, was this the right move for the Red Sox to make?