The Dodgers' shortstop and best hitter for the last couple of years is taking his bat to the Red Sox. Hanley Ramirez gets a good deal: reportedly $88 million over four years, pending physicals and final sign offs. It's a going home moment for Ramirez — he came up through the minor leagues with Boston and was supposed to the Red Sox shortstop of the future, but was traded away. Where on the field he will play for Boston is unclear. Boston already has a young, cheap and budding star at shortstop in Xander Bogaerts, and Ramirez can't really play shortstop very well anymore anyway. The Red Sox also are close to signing the former Giants star Pablo Sandoval today, so third base is out. Ramirez may end up playing the outfield for Boston, which is probably the right place on the field for him at this age. In any case, the Red Sox lineup looks scary now — certainly more threatening than the Dodgers without Ramirez.
Buster Olney of ESPN Insider:
Assuming i’s are dotted and t’s crossed, the Red Sox will sign the two best hitters in the free-agent market, which is like buying up all the wheat in the Plains states (in keeping with the farmers' market theme).
Questions are attached to Ramirez, for sure: about his defense, about the mood swings that some Dodgers teammates saw and weren’t happy about. He has missed a ton of games because of injury -- 185 over the last four seasons, in fact. But the Red Sox are certainly aware of all that, but apparently care about the bottom lines of production: An .852 OPS in games outside of Dodger Stadium last season, after posting 1.061 in road games in 2013.
Possessing good hitters is like holding gold, and the Red Sox have a stack of commodities from which to deal.