There I was, sitting at my desk scrolling through Twitter. I had almost forgotten that Dustin Pedroia was due to make his 2018 season debut tonight. Hanley Ramirez was a total afterthought in my life at that very moment. Then suddenly:
The #RedSox informed Ramirez on Friday that they will designate him for assignment in order to open a spot on their major league roster for the return of Dustin Pedroia (offseason knee surgery) from the disabled list, according to a major league source. https://t.co/QiTVjERmUp
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) May 25, 2018
My first thought was that I didn’t trust the Boston Globe, as they’ve been wrong in the past. My second thought was that Alex Speier works for the Globe, and I would borderline trust his baseball knowledge/sources with my life.
Then, sure enough:
Sources confirm: Red Sox are indeed letting Hanley go
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 25, 2018
And just like that, Hanley is gone. His Red Sox career is over, ending on an 0-21 skid, and a .175 batting average over the past 15 games.
Those numbers are really terrible, obviously, but ultimately they aren’t the reason the Red Sox let Hanley go. You can say that the $22 million option that would have hit had Hanley recorded 497 plate appearances (he’s a 195 right now) played a role. You’d probably be right in saying that.
But I think to pin the whole thing on $22 million is glossing over the real situation. The Red Sox can easily afford $22 million, especially if the guy is producing. Hell, at this point, they’re paying Hanley $15 million just to go away.
To me, this feels like a bit of a flex from Dave Dombrowski. Alex Cora was a big Hanley advocate all season. He’s hit second or third all season. On the flip side, Mitch Moreland has been an absolute monster in limited at-bats. Dombrowski signed Moreland to come to Boston, and then he re-signed him in the offseason. Dombrowski is clearly a Moreland guy, and wants him to play more.
Feels a lot like this scene from Moneyball:
Ultimately, the thing that has always bugged me the most about Hanley is the two wildly different versions of him that exist. Locked in, angry, pissed off, or whatever else you want to call it Hanley is a monster. A bonafide superstar. That Hanley is so rare. The Hanley we see on a normal basis is lazy, carefree and isn’t very good. It’s the only version of Hanley capable of going 0-21.
2016 Hanley was locked in. Probably because it was the last season in David Ortiz’s career, and Hanley wanted to make it fun and special. 2017 Hanley stunk. Until the playoffs when idiot John Farrell left him off the initial roster, which pissed Hanley off. So he got locked in. This year, Ramirez has scared the hell out of the Yankees and their fans. Becuase those games mean something and Hanley is locked in.
But at the end of the day, 3 out of 9 guys in your lineup can’t be making outs every time. The Red Sox, nor any other team, are good enough for that. Ramirez, JBJ and the catchers spot, where automatic outs the past month. That’s not gonna cut it. So Hanley got cut.
-Brian Borders (@bborders12)