Red Sox: Finding a trade partner to take Hanley Ramirez
By Sean Penney
Possible trade partners
The Cleveland Indians have an opening at first base with Carlos Santana signing with the Philadelphia Phillies. Jay Bruce may be next to follow him out the door, leaving the Tribe with a need for a bat and without the financial resources to invest heavily in the free agent market. Ramirez would take turns alternating between first and DH with Edwin Encarnacion. Both are a significant downgrade defensively from Santana but Cleveland doesn’t currently have a better alternative to take over at first.
The Los Angeles Angels finished five games out of a playoff spot this year but you could make the case that they would have been Wild Card bound if Mike Trout hadn’t spent over a month on the disabled list. After winning the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes and signing Zack Cozart, the Angels seem to think they are contenders. Los Angeles doesn’t have a clear opening at first base but a healthy Ramirez should be able to provide a better option than C.J. Cron or a declining Albert Pujols.
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The Texas Rangers may need to slide either Adrian Beltre or Joey Gallo across the diamond to first base or have one of them DH. That still leaves an opening at one of those positions with Mike Napoli hitting the free agent market. Texas may not be ready to contend again after becoming sellers at the trade deadline this year but they’ve been tied to several rumors for big-name talent. If they land a star to put them in position to compete then Ramirez is a viable upgrade to fill a hole in the lineup.
The National League has far fewer options given that those teams can’t plug Ramirez in at DH. The only NL team that made the postseason this year with a need for a first baseman is the Colorado Rockies, who may lose Mark Reynolds to free agency. If anything can rejuvenate the bat of Ramirez it’s the thin air at Coors Field.
None of the other NL teams in need of a first baseman came close to sniffing a playoff spot and adding Ramirez isn’t enough to change that. Barring one of those teams making another significant move that vaults them into contention, it’s hard to find another reasonable fit for Ramirez in the senior circuit.