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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Red Sox trying to protect against grievance from Hanley Ramirez?

Hanley Ramirez

The Boston Red Sox have been exceedingly open about their reasons for DFA’ing Hanley Ramirez on Friday, and there may be a very good reason for that.

Boston’s decision to DFA Ramirez came as a big surprise given that he started the season so hot and he’s been a steady presence in the first-place team’s lineup. However, he had a $22 million vesting option for 2019 looming if he had reached 497 plate appearances for the year — something he was well on his way to doing.

Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski made it clear on Friday that the decision to DFA Ramirez was heavily influenced by manager Alex Cora. The Red Sox needed to drop someone from the roster to make room for Dustin Pedroia, and Cora was the one who supposedly suggested getting rid of Ramirez, feeling he wouldn’t handle a decreased role well.

“We really didn’t think he’d handle that other (reduced) role, maybe as much as others would,” Dombrowski said of Ramirez. “We don’t think he’d be happy in that type of role.”

So why go out of their way to say Cora suggested the move? Boston Sports Journal’s Sean McAdam reports that another executive speculates the Red Sox are trying to protect against a grievance by Ramirez.

Ramirez could file a grievance saying the Red Sox tried to keep him from reaching his $22 million vesting option. The Red Sox are trying to establish on record that they made the move for baseball reasons and not financial.

At 34 and seemingly declining in ability, Ramirez is unlikely to make in the neighborhood of $22 million per season in the future. For that reason, he and his representatives might be motivated to try and fight over the option.

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