Red Sox: Hanley Ramirez undergoes shoulder surgery

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 28: Hanley Ramirez
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 28: Hanley Ramirez /

Boston Red Sox first baseman/designated hitter Hanle Ramirez announced that he is having surgery on his left shoulder on Tuesday.

Another member of the Boston Red Sox is going under the knife this offseason. Hanley Ramirez announced on Tuesday that he is undergoing surgery on his left shoulder.

Little is known about the procedure, as the team has yet to make a statement or provide any indication that Ramirez was injured. A league source told FanRag Sports that it’s not considered to be serious and the procedure is to repair a “minor, nagging” issue.

Aside from that, the only information we have to go on is from a message that Ramirez sent himself through his Twitter account along with a photo of him laying in a hospital bed.

Ramirez was shut down at the tail end of the 2015 season with inflammation in his right shoulder, which he had surgically repaired in 2011. He entered spring training this year battling soreness in the same shoulder, which flared up when attempting to throw the ball and prevented him from playing first base early in the season.

He spent the majority of the year serving as the designated hitter but his shoulder issues improved enough to allow Ramirez to field his position at first base 18 times this season.

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The reports we heard throughout the season focused on the right shoulder being the one that bothered him, so it’s surprising to find that his left shoulder is the one that needed surgery after the season.

Ramirez is coming off a disappointing campaign in which he hit .242 with a .749 OPS, 23 home runs, and 62 RBI. He avoided a trip to the disabled list but was still limited to 133 games due primarily to ongoing shoulder soreness.

The last we saw of Ramirez was in the ALDS against the Houston Astros when he was one of the lone bright spots for the Red Sox. After initially starting the series on the bench, Ramirez took over for the injured Eduardo Nunez early in Game 1. He went 8-for-14 (.571) with two doubles and three RBI over four postseason games. His shoulder certainly didn’t seem to hinder his swing in the playoffs.

There is only one year remaining on the $88 million deal Ramirez signed prior to the 2015 season. The Red Sox will owe him $22.75 million in 2018 before his salary potentially is cleared from their books. Knowing the end is in sight to this albatross contract may entice Boston’s ownership group to open up their wallets to this year’s crop of free agents.

There is a $22 million option for 2019 on his contract that vests if Ramirez reaches a total of 1,050 plate appearances between the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He had 553 plate appearances this year, so he’ll need to get at least 497 next year for the option to be picked up. If the Red Sox are wise, they’ll find a way to limit his playing time enough to ensure he falls short of that goal.

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The decision to limit Ramirez’ time in the lineup could be made for him if he’s not ready to start the season on time, although at this point it’s too early to speculate that this surgery will prevent him from being ready next spring.