This offseason, the Red Sox opened up their checkbooks for Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. While Sandoval had been on the Red Sox radar for some time, many did not think that Ramirez was even linked to his former team until they had already signed on the dotted line.
To be perfectly honest, I had to do my research on Hanley after they signed him. I knew that he was a fantastic hitter and a Red Sox product, but had been hidden from most of us after being tucked away on the West Coast in the National League. I concluded from my research that the Red Sox may have overpaid, but they were getting a proven product that could be that middle-of-the-order bat that they have lacked since Manny Ramirez.
And for the most part, I was right.
Ramirez is not a left fielder. Plain and simple. The Red Sox know that Ramirez is known as a dog around the league, so why would they put him at a position where he actually has to move? I understand that Ramirez has not given the position his all, but did the Red Sox give him $100 million to play a good left field?
I will answer my own question: no. They paid him to hit the baseball. And that is exactly what he has done since he put back on a Red Sox uniform.
In 89 games, Ramirez has hit .267 with 19 home runs and 48 RBIs. In the first half, there could be a case made that he was your best hitter and should have been on the all star team. Now, don't get me wrong, I have an issue with him not running out ground balls and looking like a fool in left field, but the Red Sox knew what they were getting when they signed him.
Hanley is not the reason why the Red Sox can't win a game when they have scored 7 runs and still manage to lose. On the contrary, I have to use both hands to count the number of times that he has hit a home runs to either tie the game or inch the Red Sox closer.
The Red Sox started planning for the future when they signed Ramirez. They know that he isn't a left fielder. To be perfectly honest, he may not be a fielder at all. Once David Ortiz retires, whenever that may be, Hanley will likely command the DH role for the duration of his career. Only then will we be able to give an evaluation of the signing.
By Pete Packowski @Pete_BBS