Colorado Rockies rumors: Is Hanley Ramirez a fit for the Rockies?

ST PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 23: Hanley Ramirez #13 of the Boston Red Sox smiles after beating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-1 on May 23, 2018 at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 23: Hanley Ramirez #13 of the Boston Red Sox smiles after beating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-1 on May 23, 2018 at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

On Friday, the Boston Red Sox made a surprising move in designating their first baseman, Hanley Ramirez, for assignment. It will be an expensive cut for the Red Sox but the Rockies could use the Red Sox move to their own advantage.

Hanley Ramirez was surprisingly designated for assignment by the Boston Red Sox when they activated their second baseman Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list.

He is a first baseman and as you probably know, the Rockies have been absolutely atrocious. Offensively, they are 29th in baseball in all three numbers in the slash line with a .176/.268/.330 (the Orioles are, somehow, worst but, after all, there is a reason why they are 17-34 entering Saturday). This has been due to Ian Desmond, who has a .177/.229/.366 slash line in 2018.

Considering that Ramirez plays first base too, could he be a fit for the Rockies?

Why he would be a good fit

First off, Ramirez has not had a great 2018 season. However, it can’t (and isn’t) as bad as Ian Desmond’s season. Ramirez, in 2018, has posted a .254/.313/.395 slash line and an OPS+ of 88. Desmond, on the other hand, has posted an OPS+ of 55. Offensive production that is 33 percent better? Obviously, that’s something that the Rockies would like (and need).

Secondly, he would give the Rockies a bit more versatility. He has only played first base in the past three seasons so he would almost exclusively play first base. However, even though Ramirez may be on the roster, the Rockies would still have Ian Desmond on the roster, but on the bench. He, however, could play first base, left field, or center field and spell different Rockies players on occasion.

Thirdly, the Red Sox still owe him the rest of his 2018 salary (which is roughly $15.2 million). As a result, the Rockies could sign him for the pro-rated major league minimum salary, which is $545,000 for a whole season.

Additionally, he has played in 32 games at Coors Field in his career and has been excellent. He is 47-for-129 with 11 doubles, 7 home runs, 19 RBI, and a slash line of .364/.428/.612.

He also has significant experience and success in the postseason as in four separate seasons, he has played in 20 games with 27 hits, 14 RBI, and a slash line of .380/.450/.577.

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Why he wouldn’t be a good fit

In the month of May, he has really struggled. That is why he numbers are a bit below league average. In the month of May, he has a slash line of .163/.200/.300, which is about what Ian Desmond is posting.

Also, speaking of Desmond, he is not a natural first baseman. In fact, he has had a very similar path to Desmond. Both were shortstops who first transitioned to left field for one season, and then transitioned to first base.

Another thing that the Rockies would have to be concerned about is his vesting option for 2019. He has a vesting option for $22 million for the 2019 season. The option vests if he gets 497 plate appearances this season and passes a physical at the end of the year, as Mark Polishuk of MLB Trade Rumors noted in this article from last Sunday. Ramirez is already at 195 on the season so 497 is a number that is highly achievable.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, Ramirez is not a perfect pick for the job. The Rockies wouldn’t have to make a decision right away as the Red Sox still have nine more days to attempt to find him a new home before having to give Ramirez his release.

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No matter your opinion on whether or not the Rockies should decide to pick up Ramirez, it should be something to be considered by the Rockies front office. If they don’t go with Ramirez, they need to do something…because Ian Desmond won’t be cutting it anytime soon.