To make the necessary room to activate Dustin Pedroia on the 25-man roster Friday, the Red Sox have designated first baseman/designated hitter Hanley Ramirez for assignment, according to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe.
The shocking move comes in the midst of a massive cold streak for Ramirez, with zero hits in his last five games (0-for-20 with four strikeouts), and with Ramirez hitting just .254 with six homers and 29 RBIs on the year.
Despite the other options they had on the table, such as sending Jackie Bradley Jr. down to Triple-A Pawtucket, or trading a utility player like Brock Holt or Eduardo Nunez, the Red Sox instead elected to move on from Ramirez, meaning they’ll walk away from the $15 million he’s owed for the rest of the year. The move also protected Blake Swihart, whose agent made a formal request for his client to be traded due to a lack of playing time, from being designated for assignment or traded.
Hanley’s designation is also likely tied to the fact that he would have hit his $22 million vesting option for 2019 had he totaled 497 plate appearances, which he was paced to shatter, with 195 through 44 games this season.
The Red Sox will have seven days to either trade or release the 34-year-old Ramirez.
The 5-foot-9 Pedroia, meanwhile, reports back to the Red Sox fully healed from offseason knee surgery, and after going 1-for-14 in his five-game rehab assignment with the PawSox.