As the weekend was coming to a close on Sunday night, the Red Sox sent shock waves through Major League Baseball as news broke that the team was wrapping up a pair of deals for free agents Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. Boston brought back their former prized prospect on a five year deal, worth $90M, which is much less than the 30-year old was projected to get on the open market. While Sandoval’s deal still isn’t complete, reports indicate that he will supposedly sign a five year offer approaching $100M. With the two players in the fold, the Red Sox must now figure out where everyone will fit in. The 28-year old Sandoval seems like a lock to play third base, but the future position of Hanley Ramirez seems a little less certain. Most assume that Boston will take advantage of Ramirez’ willingness to move from his native shortstop, and elect to use him as their every day left fielder. However, there is a slight possibility that the Red Sox trade Xander Bogaerts in a deal for a young, cost controlled starter, which would allow Ramirez to plug in at short. However too me, the most likely scenario involves Ramirez taking over in left field, and the Sox using their glut of outfielders and other pieces to acquire a top of the rotation starter. Yoenis Cespedes’ makes the most sense to leave in a trade, but Shane Victorino, Allen Craig, and Daniel Nava would all be attractive throw-in’s in a potential deal. Whatever way you slice it, the Red Sox need to clear room for their new additions, so a trade or series of trades is almost a certainty.
- While the Red Sox added two legit bats in Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, they still have yet to address their needs in the starting rotation. If the reports are accurate, Boston will wind up committing a combined $180M to their two new additions, leaving the team roughly $7M under the luxury tax threshold. Therefore, the team will need to either open up payroll via trade, or just blow past the luxury tax threshold all together. (So…is there any money left for pitching? Red Sox roster building reconsidered)
- After missing out on most of the Arizona Fall League season due to injury, Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo will return to game action in early December. The 27-year old will play right field for Alex Cora’s winter league team in Puerto Rico, and aim to get at least 100 at-bats. (Rusney Castillo’s Puerto Rico plan now in place)
- Should the Red Sox officially strike a deal with Pablo Sandoval, where would that leave Hanley Ramirez. While the early line of thinking is that Boston will slide Ramirez into the friendly confines of Fenway Parks left field, the team has reportedly not yet decided where the 30-year old will play. Earlier this offseason, Ramirez expressed his willingness to move from his native shortstop, and play third base, first base, or the outfield. (Red Sox haven’t decided where Hanley Ramirez will play)
- Over the course of his career, Hanley Ramirez hasn’t exactly been a model teammate. In his time spent with both the Marlins and the Dodgers, the 30-year old gained somewhat of a reputation as a slacker. As he finalizes his deal with the Red Sox, Boston’s brass is hoping that the relationship Ramirez holds with David Ortiz will steer the slugger down a more mature path. (Chemistry test: With return of Hanley Ramirez, Red Sox show faith in clubhouse personalities)
- The Red Sox deals for Hanely Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval are hardly complete the offseason puzzle for the team. On top of having to find a pair of new starting pitchers, Boston will also need to finish filling out their bullpen. The team could find some bullpen reinforcements on the free agent market, or choose from their glut of young in-house options. (Red Sox bullpen is far from complete)
- Tweet of the day: Trust in Ben