Boston Red Sox

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has said that the decision to move on from Hanley Ramirez was a pure baseball decision, and an idea first brought to him by Red Sox manager Alex Cora. The first-year Sox manager wanted to play Mitch Moreland more, and didn’t think that the 34-year-old Ramirez would be a great fit on the Boston bench.

Ramirez’ 2019 vesting option for $22 million played an obvious factor in their decision, too, whether it’s admitted or not.

But baseball insider Ken Rosenthal offered up another reason in a video posted to FoxSports.com over the weekend.

“Some with the team believe the removal of Ramirez from the clubhouse will create more room for others to assert themselves and become leaders,” Rosenthal said. “One player who is a top candidate to assume such a role: J.D. Martinez. Dustin Pedroia is the only other prominent veteran among the team’s position players and he is back on the DL.”

The club’s star free agent addition this past offseason, J.D. Martinez has immersed himself into the Boston locker room without so much as a minor snag thanks to a .315 batting average with 19 home runs, 50 RBIs, and a 1.023 OPS.

And it’s tough to argue with the Red Sox’ results since moving on from Ramirez, too, with the team holding a 7-3 record in 10 games since Ramirez was designated for assignment. They’ve also gotten noteworthy production from the DH spot over that span, as well, with three homers and 11 of their 56 total runs batted in over that span knocked in by the team’s DH.

Officially released by the Red Sox on Friday, Ramirez has drawn interest from multiple teams, including the Orioles.