What a difference one year makes. In 2015 Ramirez was joining a list of free agent busts that Boston had through the years. Now he is what everyone expected and more. The power returned with 30 home runs – many that took on legendary status for distance – and the run-producing with a career-high 111 RBI. The move to yet another new position, first base, was positive. Hanley will never be a great glove man, but he was more than passable.
Ramirez also provided some decent role modeling for the younger players now arriving in Boston. Ramirez had somewhat of a surly history with Miami and Los Angeles, but in Boston, there were no issues – even in the nightmare 2015 season. By all accounts Ramirez was a solid baseball citizen.
Ramirez is a solid right-hand bat who will be 33-years old next season. Ramirez is also signed for two more seasons with a vesting option for a third, but he is not cheap at $22 Million a year.
With the departure of David Ortiz, a gaping hole is apparent in the lineup and trading Ramirez would certainly be a folly or would it? The key ingredient is replacement parts. Internally that is limited to a disappointing Travis Shaw or a more valuable elsewhere Brock Holt. To replace Ramirez you would have to look elsewhere.
Elsewhere could be dabbling extensively into the free agent market and that would mean targeting not one, but two potential additions – both right-handed sluggers. Mark Trumbo has played first base in the past along with being primarily a designated hitter in 2016. Trumbo has also seen duty in the outfield, but he is not being paid for his limited defensive skills as the 30-years-old Trumbo led the majors in home runs and that is his calling card.
Edwin Encarnacion is one who dabbles at first and DH. Now 33-years-old Encarnacion is a tower of home run power, especially at Fenway Park. In 2016 Encarnacion tied Ortiz for the league lead in RBI (127) while smashing 42 home runs.
Encarnacion and Trumbo would represent an enormous expenditure, but would solve the DH issue and make a trade of Ramirez possible. In all likelihood, the main target for Boston is the Toronto slugger.
Trade Chance: Negligible