Hanley Ramirez was informed of his release today at 3:45 am in a surprise move that will shake up the Red Sox line-up. Ramirez was hitting .254 with 6 HRs and 29 RBIs. While those numbers do not jump off the page, Hanley had the second most RBIs among American League First Baseman, behind only Joey Gallo, who is a hitting a cool .199 and has already racked up 74 Ks. He ranks first in RBIs among Designated Hitters and seemed to really bring a lot to the clubhouse. Hanley’s numbers on the field can be replaced by Mitch Moreland getting more time and Blake Swihart getting his first real opportunity to produce this season. However, Ramirez brought a lot to Boston, despite the media constantly attacking his work ethic, I truly believe he wanted to win a championship with the Red Sox. It appeared as though he was well liked by his teammates and really added to the team chemistry with his antics. I will miss Hanley in a Red Sox uniform and wish him success, unless he goes to the Yankees.
Hanley showing off his catching ability in the dugout on Mother’s Day
Cleveland seems like the best fit for both sides. The Indians are currently getting next to nothing out of their 1B/DH spots. Yonder Alonso has started 40 of 48 games for the Indians at 1B and appeared in 47 games total. He is hitting .228 with 9 HRs and 26 RBIs. Edwin Encarnacion has been the DH 37 times this season and played 1B 6 times. He is also struggling with a .202 average with 10 HRs and 25 RBIs. Edwin has a -0.2 WAR according to baseball-reference.com, meaning he is negatively contributing to the team. Safe to say the Indians are in need of help at either spot and could use a bat. The Indians are a contender at 24-24 based on how bad their division is. I think Terry Francona could keep Hanley motivated and playing loose. This is my prediction for a Hanley Ramirez landing spot.
The Orioles are off to an abysmal start and Chris Davis has largely contributed to Baltimore’s downfall. “Crush” Davis has worn out his nickname and no longer deserves it. Khris Davis of the Athletics has dethroned Chris as the best slugger named Davis. The Orioles Chris Davis is hitting .154 with 4 HRs and 13 RBIs. He has a -1.4 WAR and a .490 OPS. It is time for Baltimore to move on from this once dominant masher of baseballs and try something new. Hanley could help the team out, though no single addition could help them this year. He could contribute at 1B or DH allowing the Orioles to either Designate Chris Davis for Assignment or let him ride out his massive contract on the bench where he belongs. This would be more of a statement move for the Orioles but absolutely could happen if no teams are willing to trade with Boston and eat the $15 Million remaining on his contract this season.
New York Mets – Scott Edwards Pick
The New York Mets have not had a solid First Baseman since Lucas Duda and even that was dicey at times. Adrian Gonzales is the Mets primary First-Baseman with Wilmer Flores getting reps at 1B as well. Gonzales has been serviceable hitting .268 with 5 HRs and 20 RBIs. If Hanley were to join I would expect him to move positions as Adrian is one of their better hitters this season which says more about the offense than the player. They have a lot of options, they could move Hanley back to 3B or even have him platoon with Gonzales at 1B or Frazier at 3B. Both Frazier and Gonzales are struggling massively against lefties while Hanley has hit .333 off LHP with a HR and 10 RBIs in only 42 at-bats. The main argument here is that the Mets DESPERATELY need bats and could find a way to put him in the line-up. Their offensive needs were capitalized when they signed 37-year-old Jose Bautista on May 22nd and proceeded to start him that night. Bautista landed in New York an hour before first pitch. He has played in all three games proving just how desperate the Mets are for offense. This scenario is a likely one and my colleague Scott Edwards official prediction.
Scott Neville – Head Baseball Writer – WTF Sports