May 25, 2018

Dombrowski Discusses Hanley Decision, Which Was Suggested By Cora

Dave Dombrowski, President of Baseball Operations, on the decision to designate DH/1B Hanley Ramirez for assignment:
We were prepared to maybe go in a different direction with our move. [Manager ALex Cora] called me, I remember it was about 11:30 in the morning, I was getting ready to go for a run, and Alex said, "I've got a thought for you about what we're doing." And he said, "This is a move that I would like to make, I recommend making." Ultimately it comes into my final decision, but he said, "I really want to play Mitch Moreland more. He's a good player, he's played very well for us. I don't think that Hanley is a person that [handles sitting] on the bench well. It gives us an opportunity to keep Blake Swihart and also be in a position where Blake can get more playing time." And so he said, "This is something that I'd recommend us doing." And I said, "You're sure?" And he said yeah and he went through some different reasons behind it and his thought process. And what I asked him to do at that point was to make sure that he went to the ballpark to meet with his coaching staff and be in a position where that was what he really wanted to do. I got to the ballpark yesterday, Frank Wren and I drove over, and he said this is what we'd like to do. So we proceeded in that direction. ...

It was a baseball-related move for us. We've been looking at making a move because we knew that this day, where Dustin [Pedroia] would come back. So for us it really is a baseball move, one that I talked to Alex about yesterday. ...

The vesting option had nothing to do with this, because we're in a situation — as you can see — basically we're trying to do everything we can to possibly win. So that would not be an obstacle in that regard.
Alex Cora, on Ramirez:
I think his role was going to diminish. For how good of a player he is, it was going to be difficult. It was probably going to be a platoon, maybe come in and pinch hit late in games, and that's not a perfect role for Hanley Ramirez. He's a guy who he needs his at-bats, and obviously with the versatility that we have with the other players — with Brock [Holt], with [Eduardo] Nunez, and with Blake [Swihart] — as far as managing the game, it's a lot easier with those guys.
Was Dombrowski surprised by Cora's suggestion?
Yeah. Yeah I was. ... I digested it, I made some notes, I was going for a jog, I thought about it while I was jogging. But yeah I was a little bit surprised, because that wasn't the direction we were going to in that particular time. But again, we had talked about so many different thinks — sometimes they're ideas that are trade ideas where you're just kicking things around. So I wouldn't say shocked, but I'd say surprised.

1 comment:

allan said...

David Schoenfield, ESPN, on why the Red Sox said goodbye to Hanley Ramirez:

He's expensive and not that good.

The Red Sox still owe him about $15 million for the rest of the season (no team is going to pick up the salary), so they'll be eating that no matter what. But what they really want to avoid is paying Ramirez $22 million in 2019. That option vests if he receives 497 plate appearances this year, and with 195 already, he was on pace to pass that total.

So, dump him now -- the Red Sox have seven days to trade him or release him -- and save $22 million next year. Makes sense.

As for his production, that's no loss either. He's hitting .254/.313/.395. He ranked 117 out of 165 regulars with a .315 wOBA ... In his four seasons with the Red Sox, he provided above-average offense in only 2016. You need more than that from a DH or first baseman. ...

Dumping Ramirez puts a wrap on two of the worst contracts in Red Sox history -- or anybody's history. After winning the 2013 World Series, the Red Sox fell to 71-91 in 2014. GM Ben Cherington's fix: Sign Ramirez (four years, $88 million guaranteed) to play left field and sign Pablo Sandoval (five years, $95 million guaranteed) to play third base. Ramirez had never played the outfield before and had been injured in three of the previous four seasons. Sandoval's weight issues made his future murky. ...

The signings would cost Cherington his job. Ramirez was a complete disaster in left field ... He didn't hit either. Neither did Sandoval ... The Red Sox finished 78-84, and Cherington was fired in August.