The Red Sox have agreed to terms on a four-year, $88 million contract with Hanley Ramirez, as reported by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. The deal, which is pending a physical, includes a $22 million vesting option for a fifth season that could push the total value to five years and $110 million.
The signing of Ramirez is likely to be paired with the addition of Pablo Sandoval, who is considering the Red Sox, Padres and Giants as he makes his final decision later today. Reports early on Monday indicated that Boston is the top choice for Sandoval, who is expected to sign a deal for around five years and $100 million in the next 24 hours.
At this point, it is unclear what the Red Sox plan to do in terms of positioning with Ramirez, who has been a shortstop for his entire career. The pending addition of Sandoval makes it unlikely that Ramirez will go to third base, meaning that it is likely that Ramirez ends up in the outfield. If that is the case, the Sox will probably trade one of their outfielders in exchange for pitching, with Yoenis Cespedes seeming to be the most likely candidate to be shipped out of Boston.
Ramirez returns to his original organization after getting traded to the Marlins almost exactly nine years ago in the blockbuster that sent Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Boston. Ramirez made his major league debut with the Red Sox and struck out in his only two at-bats, before spending the last nine seasons with the Marlins and Dodgers.
Ramirez is a lifetime .300/.373/.500 hitter with 191 home runs and 654 RBI over 1,223 games. He is a three-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger award winner.