Shortstop Hanley Ramirez appears headed to the Red Sox for a reportedly five-year, $90 million agreement, according to FoxSports.com.
The 2009 National League Batting champion turned down a qualifying offer with Los Angeles for $15.3 million propelling Ramirez into the field of MLB free agents searching for more lucrative long term contracts.
Ramirez going to Boston, according to the Los Angeles Times, will be something of a homecoming. The free agent was originally drafted and signed by the Red Sox as a 21-year-old shortstop, but was shuffled off to the Marlins for right-handed pitcher Josh Beckett.
The Red Sox, who also are signing San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, look to beef up their offensive attack and make the team more appealing to remaining unsigned free agent pitchers.
ESPN reports that Ramirez’s deal with Boston is actually higher than what FoxSports.com previously detailed.
In 2013 Ramirez delivered offensively for the Dodgers, despite injuries, hitting .345 with 20 homers and 57 RBIs in only 336 plate appearances. Ramirez’s performance fell off in 2014 when a series of injuries— elbow, hand, thumb, shoulder, calf, hamstring, oblique, back and ribs–cut his season to 128 games when he batted .283 with 13 homers and 71 RBIs.
Ramirez’s best days playing shortstop were with the Marlins and if he had stayed with the Dodgers he would have moved to third base. The Sox also may move the 30-year-old to a different position.
According to USA Today if both Ramirez and Sandoval sign, Sandoval will likely play alongside young shortstop Xander Bogaerts, and push Ramirez to left field, where the 31-year-old will oversee the not-so-expansive real estate thanks to the Green Monster at his back.
Nothing is written in stone where Ramirez will be positioned. According to a NJ.com the Phillies are reportedly scouting Bogaerts for a possible trade for pitcher Cole Hamels.