Tag: Hanley Ramirez

Ramirez, Ortiz, Betts Each Record 30+ Home Runs, 100+ RBI

Although the season didn’t end as planned, the Boston Red Sox enjoyed a fantastic 2016 campaign, with one of the highlights being a high-powered offense that provided three players with 30 or more home runs and 100 or more RBI for the first time in franchise history, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Doing the honors were outfielder Mookie Betts, designated hitter David Ortiz and first baseman Hanley Ramirez, all of whom enjoyed fascinating season for entirely different reasons.

The 24-year-old Betts had a breakout campaign that places him among the American League MVP favorites, finishing with a .318 batting average, 31 homers, 26 stolen bases, 113 RBI and 122 runs—one of the more well-rounded stat lines you’ll ever see, in addition to play solid defense.

Ortiz, 40 years old and on the opposite end of the career spectrum, announced his impending retirement prior to the season and then proved that he’s still good enough to play a couple more years, though he made it clear he has no such intention.

Then there was 32-year-old Ramirez, who disappointed tremendously last year in his first season with the Red Sox but finally came on strong in the second half of 2016, ultimately having a fantastic campaign while successfully making a position switch to first base.

Of course, the ultimate goal was a World Series, and on that account the Red Sox fell short, getting swept in the ALDS by the Cleveland Indians.

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Hanley Ramirez Injury: Updates on Red Sox Star’s Wrist and Return

Boston Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez suffered a wrist injury when he slipped and fell on the steps in the dugout after a game against the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 2.

However, he has been cleared to return to the lineup. 

Continue for updates.

Ramirez Active vs. Dodgers

Friday, Aug. 5

Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reported Ramirez will play against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.

X-Ray Results on Ramirez’s Wrist Revealed

Wednesday, Aug. 3

X-rays and an MRI showed that Ramirez’s wrist is “structurally sound,” according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com. 

Ramirez Looking for Stride with Red Sox 

It’s been a tumultuous two-year span for Ramirez, who batted a career-low .249 in 2015. A lot of it had to do with his physical form, as he had noticeably gained weight. He was even benched for a few games at the end of August due to fatigue. 

Shortly after the 2015 season ended, the Red Sox went to Ramirez and asked him to lose weight for spring training, and he did, via Christopher Smith of MassLive.com. 

On top of that, he had to get used to a new position as he was moved from the outfield to first base.

But things are looking up for Ramirez in 2016. Prior to the injury, he was hitting .276 with 13 home runs and 61 RBI while adapting well to first base, committing only three errors in his first 70 games with a .994 fielding percentage. 

He’s also shown everything said about him doesn’t affect him in the slightest:

With the likes of Mookie Betts, David Ortiz, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts in the Red Sox lineup, the pressure of producing hasn’t necessarily weighed as heavily on Ramirez as it has in years past.

Boston’s suddenly vaunted offense has it in contention in the American League East with the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Hanley Ramirez vs. Giants: Stats, Highlights and Reaction to 1B’s 3-HR Game

Boston Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez sported a mere eight home runs in 2016 coming into Wednesday’s game at Fenway Park against the San Francisco Giants, but he looked like a 50-homer presence in the lineup during his team’s 11-7 victory.

Ramirez drilled three home runs as part of Boston’s offensive explosion and finished with six RBI in five plate appearances. His outburst was a timely one considering the Red Sox pitching staff allowed seven runs and failed to put the Giants away for much of the game despite the early offensive support. 

Ramirez’s first home run started the scoring in the hitting slugfest. He drove Matt Cain’s offering the other way and sent Mac Williamson tumbling over the wall in an effort to rob the first baseman:

Ramirez was far from done. He connected on another Cain pitch in his second at-bat and put Boston ahead 5-0 with another two-run dinger in the third. It was a moonshot that cleared the tall fence in left-center field and appeared to give the Red Sox comfortable breathing room in the early going:

While the Giants battled back with seven runs in the fourth and fifth innings after falling behind 8-0, Ramirez helped the Red Sox answer with his third home run of the game in the sixth. The two-run homer also scored David Ortiz and gave Boston a 10-7 advantage, which the team shared on Twitter:

On his third home run, Ramirez confirmed he was swinging for the fences, per Christopher Smith of MassLive.com: “Yep, I got lucky on that one. Yep, I was trying to hit a homer. I was trying to go to the moon.”

He also may have been motivated even more after getting hit in an earlier at-bat, as he said after the game, via Smith: “Every time I get hit that fires me up. It makes a better player. … Sometimes, it’s not Hanley. It’s somebody else.”

Fox Sports: MLB and ESPN Stats & Info put Ramirez’s effort into historical perspective:

David Schoenfield of ESPN.com called it Ramirez’s “best game of his life,” and Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald noted the Fenway Park crowd didn’t seem to care that the first baseman didn’t manage a fourth homer in his final plate appearance:

Ramirez talked about his final at-bat and the possibility of hitting four homers, per Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal: “Everybody was telling me, ‘You’ve got to for it.’ I said, ‘I don’t hit homers when I try to hit homers.’ (They said), ‘It don’t matter. You’ve got three already. Swing as hard as you can.'”

While Ramirez hadn’t boasted much power this season before Wednesday, he does have an impressive resume when it comes to hitting the ball out of the park. His three homers give him 11 on the campaign, which marks his 11th straight season with double-digit home run totals. He connected on 19 in 2015 in his first year with the Red Sox and has six different seasons with 20 or more long balls.

The three-time All-Star and 2006 National League Rookie of the Year posted 33 home runs in 2008 and has the potential to be a masher in the middle of Boston’s lineup heading into the stretch run if Wednesday’s showing is any indication. 

First-place Boston already leads all of baseball in runs scored and will be even more dangerous if Ramirez parlays his three-homer game into a power surge over the final two-plus months of the schedule.

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Hanley Ramirez Comments on Move to 1B, Potential Gold Glove, Health, More

Hanley Ramirez reported to Boston Red Sox camp Wednesday, six days before the deadline for position players, and he talked about the upcoming season, including his move to first base, with Rick Weber of ESPN.com.  

When asked if his move to first base was temporary until he could take over as the designated hitter for David Ortiz, Ramirez slyly responded, “What if I win a Gold Glove? What is going to happen next year? It’s too far [away]. I don’t make those decisions. I have a boss.”

Ramirez added that his main goal is to make sure the rest of the infield grows comfortable with him playing first base:

We’re going to work a lot. I just want to make my infielders comfortable. Catch the ball and throw it. That’s the main key right now. I told Bogey [shortstop Xander Bogaerts] right away, “Just throw the ball in this area and you’ll be fine. Don’t worry, I got you.” Pedey [second baseman Dustin Pedroia], he don’t make bad throws. “I’m always going to hit you in the chest.”

While Ramirez knows playing first base will be a challenge, he seems excited to make the shift to a new position.

“I know that area in the infield,” he told Weber. “It’s different. Like I say, I’m really happy to be back in the infield. It’s been a while that I haven’t taken ground balls in a real game, and I’m really excited.”

It’s hard to imagine things could go much worse for Ramirez in his new position than they did a year ago. He struggled immensely in left field, hit just .249 with 19 homers, 53 RBI and six stolen bases and missed 57 games last year, suffering a shoulder injury that ended his season in early September. 

The entire team struggled, however, finishing 78-84, the worst record in the American League East. 

But there is reason for optimism, both for Ramirez and for the Red Sox. He acknowledged he’s lost some weight coming into the season, altered his diet and added muscle, telling Weber, “I feel really good. Like I say, more athletic.”

He’s also pleased with the team’s offseason, praising the improvements the team made to both the bullpen and the starting rotation with the addition of David Price. 

The Red Sox certainly have the pieces to compete for a playoff spot again this year. They have a mix of talented veterans (Ramirez, Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Pablo Sandoval) and talented, intriguing youngsters (Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts). And with Craig Kimbrel locking down the ninth inning and Price and Clay Buchholz atop the rotation, the Red Sox are positioned to compete for a postseason spot. 

But, of course, Ramirez’s adjustment to first base and his health will play a major factor in any postseason run. As of now, the new first baseman is the picture of optimism.


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What Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval Must Do to Erase 2015 Red Sox Nightmares

Nobody can say the Boston Red Sox are lacking in stars heading into 2016. To rise from the depths of the AL East, all they need is for their stars to live up to their track records.

Now for the part where we cast the ol’ side-eye at Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval.

Signed for a combined $183 million last winter, their first season in Boston was…not great. FanGraphs says Ramirez and Sandoval combined for a minus-3.8 WAR, making them arguably definitely the worst tandem in Major League Baseball. That leaves the Red Sox no choice but to hope for the best.

“We need them to produce, there’s no doubt about that,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said in December, per Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. “And talking to both guys, they’re working extremely hard right now to get back to the years of performance that they’ve had in the past.”

For now, the good news is that the projections expect Ramirez and Sandoval to get back on track. FanGraphs, for example, projects them for a combined 3.7 WAR in 2016. That’s a 7.5-win swing in the right direction, and a notable contribution to a strong overall projection for the Red Sox.

But how, exactly, are Ramirez and Sandoval supposed to live up to these projections? Glad you asked. Let’s take a look, shall we?


What Hanley Ramirez Must Do

The only impressive thing about Ramirez’s 2015 season is the totality of its awfulness. His .249/.291/.426 batting line resulted in the worst offensive season of his career. He was also a liability on the bases and one of the worst defensive left fielders anyone’s seen since, well, ever.

But it’s a new season now, and Ramirez is getting a fresh start in more ways than one. Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last month that Ramirez has lost some weight this offseason, and the 32-year-old former shortstop is confident about his move from left field to first base.

“I’ve always been an infielder, so it’s going to be easy,” Ramirez said recently, per Ricky Doyle of NESN.com. “I think I know more of the territory, and I’m going to feel more comfortable at first.” 

Should anyone else feel confident in Ramirez’s ability to play first base? Given that he was a lousy shortstop before he was a lousy left fielder, not really. And remember, first base isn’t easy. Right, Wash?

But because first base is the least important position on the defensive spectrum, the Red Sox could live with any characteristically poor defense from Ramirez if he produces on offense. To that end, there’s at least room to hope that his weight loss will help him on the bases.

The big question, though, is if Ramirez can rediscover his power stroke. With his approach much more aggressive than it used to be, his ability to sting the ball is now his only real source of value as a hitter. And to show he still has it, he needs to prove not only that his weight loss isn’t a problem, but also that he’s past the injuries that killed his power in 2015.

Things started well enough for Ramirez last year. At the end of April, he was slugging .659 with 10 home runs. But then, on May 4, this happened:

That play only injured Ramirez’s left shoulder badly enough to keep him out of action for a few days, but the effects seemed to linger for much longer. He was slugging .609 at the time he hurt his shoulder. For the rest of the season, he slugged just .372 and hit nine home runs.

According to the data, Ramirez’s power dried up just as much as that decline suggests. After that shoulder injury, he hit more ground balls, made slightly more soft contact and a lot less hard contact:

Granted, it wasn’t just Ramirez’s left shoulder that was hurting after May 4. As he told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald last August, he also spent a good chunk of the season battling injuries to his right shoulder and left hand. 

How will anyone know if Ramirez is all better? At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, when the ball is jumping off his bat again. Speaking more specifically, it’s also important for him to turn on fastballs again.

This chart from Brooks Baseball suggests that Ramirez lost the ability to do that, as he suddenly found himself hitting a notably higher percentage of fastballs to the opposite field:

Per Baseball Savant, this happened despite the fact that Ramirez was seeing a career-high number of inside fastballs in 2015. He also slugged a career-low .260 against those, driving few inside heaters to left field.

If Ramirez starts hitting the ball hard again? Good. If he does so while showing he can get around on fastballs again? Even better. That’ll mean his power stroke is back and ready for duty.

For the Red Sox, that would be good enough. It would be nice if Ramirez went back to being the offensive dynamo he used to be, but him hitting enough bombs to account for what will presumably be lousy defense at first base would at least make him a solid regular. After 2015, even that would be quite the improvement.


What Pablo Sandoval Must Do

Hey, you can’t blame that one Red Sox fan for asking the question. Sandoval had his worst offensive season in 2015, slashing just .245/.292/.366. He also rated as one of the game’s worst baserunners and went from pretty good to very bad on defense. He was like Ramirez, except worse.

Boston’s grand solution is the same one that’s usually associated with Sandoval: weight loss. According to Mastrodonato’s report, that’s going well. After looking especially fluffy last spring, Sandoval has dropped 20 pounds this winter.

The 29-year-old’s defense should be the most obvious beneficiary of that. Matthew Kory of FanGraphs didn’t even need the context of Sandoval’s weight loss to conclude that he’s likely to improve on defense in 2016, but it’s something that could erase last year’s biggest shortcoming: range. According to ultimate zone rating, he saved fewer runs with his range than any other qualified third baseman.

Having less weight to carry should help fix that, as we know Sandoval was capable of making plays like this as recently as 2014:

But the real challenge concerns Sandoval’s bat. On that front, it didn’t help that the switch-hitting Sandoval struggled so much from the right side that he eventually gave up switch-hitting. But seemingly an even bigger problem was that his bat often looked slow.

The numbers back up the eye test, as Sandoval struggled to pull the ball and had a hard time making good contact. His hard-contact rate, in particular, was the worst of his career. 

Regarding their offensive outlooks, this puts Sandoval in the same boat as Ramirez, save for another, more unique wrinkle.

Before 2015, Sandoval was the league’s most notorious bad-ball hitter. He swung outside the strike zone more often than any other qualified hitter (minimum 3,000 plate appearances) between 2008 and 2014 and, according to Baseball Savant, he led or co-led baseball in out-of-zone hits in 20112013 and 2014.

But in 2015, Sandoval stopped being a bad-ball bad boy. What he did against pitches in the strike zone was nothing out of the ordinary—and quite good—but Baseball Savant tells us that his ability to hit pitches outside the strike zone completely fell apart:

It’s notable that Sandoval’s chase rate in 2015 was the highest of any of his full seasons in the big leagues. But his rate of contact outside the zone was in line with his career rate, so it’s not as if he was swinging and missing outside the zone too much. It would appear he simply lost his ability to make good contact against bad pitches. 

Fixing that could go a long way toward fixing Sandoval’s offensive problems as a whole. If he can do that while also turning his lighter build into improved range at third base, he stands to be an even more improved player than Ramirez. 

So the Red Sox must hope, anyway. And no matter what happens, they at least have the comfort of knowing that it’s not like Ramirez and Sandoval can get any worse in 2016, right?



Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked. 

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Finding Trade Partners for MLB’s Bloated Superstar Contracts on the Block

Finding logical trade destinations for notorious underachievers like Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp is no enviable task.

Once upon a time, Ramirez and Kemp were mashing together in the heart of the order for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now, those guys headline the list of potential trade chips playing on bloated superstar contracts.

Fortunately for the executives who could be tasked with trying to move players like Ramirez and Kemp, there are strategies to help facilitate such deals. The first option is to attach the overpaid big leaguer to an intriguing prospect. The second is to eat some (or potentially a lot of) cash.

After digging through the stats, examining all the contracts and surveying the markets for bats and arms, there’s no question some of these players will be easier to move than others. It’s a race to the bottom, but ultimately it looks like Kemp wins the regrettable distinction of most untradeable of all.

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MLB Rumors: Top Trade Rumors Ahead of 2015 Winter Meetings

The 2015 Major League Baseball winter meetings have yet to start, but it’s already obvious that this will be one of the craziest and least predictable offseasons in years. 

Zack Greinke provided the biggest jolt so far this winter, agreeing to a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Newton’s third law of motion states that for every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction. Greinke going to the desert has a ripple effect on the rest of MLB, particularly in the National League West where the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants were considered favorites for the right-hander, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale

While free agency is often the focus at the winter meetings, the trade winds are also likely to bear fruit. Trading is also a more practical way for teams that can’t spend nine figures on a single player to bolster their rosters for 2016 and beyond. 

Before the MLB world descends on Nashville for the start of this year’s winter meetings, here are the top trade rumors floating around that could provide the next great ripple effect. 


The Shelby Miller Market

Young, cost-controlled starting pitching is the greatest luxury in MLB, with Atlanta Braves right-hander Shelby Miller falling into that category with three years left before he can become a free agent. 

With the Braves taking on a full-scale rebuild, it’s only prudent that Miller’s name would at least be discussed in trade rumblings. 

Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post did report that the Colorado Rockies at one point called the Braves about Miller, but the two sides had not spoken “in a while.”

Miller has been one of the most sought-after items on the trade market, with Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reporting at the end of November that “20 or so teams” have shown some level of interest in the 25-year-old. 

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick recently noted the Braves were likely to keep Miller, despite receiving “a ton of hits” about him. 

The Rockies are a mess with no clear sense of direction. They finally bit the bullet last year by trading Troy Tulowitzki, evidently accepting a rebuild was necessary, but their return lacked impact. Jeff Hoffman was a top-10 pick in 2014, but he’s only pitched 104 innings in the minors after having Tommy John surgery.

Pitching in Colorado is different than anywhere else because of the thin air and what it can do to flatten pitches out. Developing power arms in the starting rotation, guys who can miss bats even when their command is slightly off, is essential for the Rockies to succeed. 

Miller would be an interesting test case for the Rockies because he does have power stuff, with FanGraphs measuring his fastball last year at a career-high 94 mph. He’s not, however, a prolific strikeout pitcher with 298 punchouts over 388.1 innings since 2014. 

The Braves have all the power in any negotiation because Miller has proved to be very good with a 3.22 career ERA, 1.24 WHIP and at least 31 starts in each of the last three years. Trading him now, as the franchise is essentially parting with anyone who will get expensive in the next two years, would fit their plan. 

Unfortunately for interested parties, there doesn’t seem to be any urgency on the Braves’ part to deal Miller. 


James Shields Available Again

One year after signing with the San Diego Padres, James Shields is being put on the market once again by the National League West club. 

Rosenthal reported the Padres “think” they are in a position to move Shields because his remaining contract ($65 million over three years) will look better with current free-agent prices continuing to rise. 

However, Rosenthal added other teams are “skeptical” about San Diego’s thinking and the 33-year-old doesn’t look as impressive as he once did:

Yet another matter complicating the process for any interested team, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark, is the way San Diego is looking to make a deal around Shields:

The one valuable asset Shields still has is his ability to eat innings. He’s made at least 33 starts covering at least 202.1 innings every year since 2008. 

On the bad side of things, Shields had a 3.91 ERA, below-average ERA+ (93) and 33 home runs allowed last year pitching half of his games in spacious Petco Park. Paying that pitcher nearly $22 million per season is foolish. 

Shields, who is about to turn 34 on Dec. 20, isn’t likely to rediscover his stuff and velocity, so the odds of him opting out after next season and leaving millions of dollars on the table that he won’t recoup in another deal are slim. 

The Padres will likely be stuck paying Shields for a subpar performance in their rotation, unless they decide to take a different approach and kick in a lot of money in a potential trade. 


The Hanley Ramirez Dilemma

The Boston Red Sox have already answered their two biggest questions this offseason, signing David Price to lead their starting rotation and acquiring Craig Kimbrel from San Diego to close games. 

One lingering question is what will happen with Hanley Ramirez, who is under contract for three more years. 

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported last week that Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski was seeking to move the 31-year-old. 

“The Mariners, Orioles, and Angels seem to be the targets, and all three make sense,” Cafardo wrote. “There are huge hurdles to cross, however. One is money. With a little more than $68 million remaining on Ramirez’s deal, the Red Sox would need to eat at least half.”

It’s important to note Cafardo‘s report came out before Baltimore acquired Mark Trumbo from Seattle, so it’s unclear how much interest, if any, would remain on the Orioles’ side. 

Seattle doesn’t seem likely after the M’s signed Nori Aoki to take Trumbo‘s spot in the outfield mix. Ramirez also doesn’t fit in Mariners general manager Jerry DiPoto’s early offseason philosophy of improving his team’s defense. 

Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald added Dombrowski will struggle to find a suitor for Ramirez because he’s “a soon-to-turn-32-year-old without a position who has missed an average of 41 games over the last four seasons because of assorted injuries.”

Unlike the Padres’ plan with Shields, the Red Sox don’t seem like a franchise that would insist on a team interested in Ramirez taking on his entire remaining salary. 

However, given Ramirez’s limitations because of injuries and his disappointing .717 OPS last year, the Red Sox will be better off hanging onto him and hoping he’s able to rebuild his value in 2016. It’s not a likely outcome, but it’s one they can afford to take. 


Stats per Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

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Hanley Ramirez Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation Surrounding Red Sox LF

Hanley Ramirez, after just one season with the Boston Red Sox, could be on the move again this offseason.

Continue for updates.

Ramirez Reportedly on the Trade Block

Sunday, Nov. 29

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, “there’s now talk in the front office that [president of baseball operations] Dave Dombrowski is trying to move Ramirez in a deal. The Mariners, Orioles and Angels seem to be the targets, and all three make sense.”

As Cafardo noted, however, several hurdles stand in the way of any potential move. For starters, the 31-year-old is still owed $68 million over the duration of his contract, and Cafardo expects the Red Sox will have to eat “at least half” of that money. 

Ramirez’s position is also a concern, as Cafardo reported all three teams interested in the former All-Star see him as a designated hitter, though he might be able to play third base. Ramirez’s weight may play a factor there, however—Cafardo noted that the Red Sox want him to lose 20 pounds—as would an injury history that has seen him miss 91 games over the past two years. 

After a failed experiment as a left fielder last season, Ramirez is expected to transition to first base for the Red Sox should he remain with the team. He certainly still has pop at the plate, as he hit .249 with 19 home runs and 53 RBI in 108 games last season, though he also produced a dreadful .283 on-base percentage. And with David Ortiz set to retire after the 2016 season, Ramirez could transition to the designated hitter role after this year. 

In other words, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Red Sox held onto Ramirez. Eating half of his salary may be too big a pill to swallow, especially if the team can carve out a role for him as a first baseman and future designated hitter. He can still produce at the dish, though Boston will want to see his batting average and on-base percentage improve after disappointing numbers in those categories last year.


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Bloated MLB Contracts Who Can Actually Be Trade Assets This Winter

Without a doubt, Major League Baseball teams hand their players the most ridiculous contracts—in money and length—in all of North American professional sports. 

It is a reason to scoff at cynics who claim baseball is a dying sport, but it is also ammunition for heated debates about just how bad some deals might be, in terms of dollars, duration or both. There are plenty to choose from thanks to owners and front offices willing to pay players greatly for past production while crossing their fingers for some of that production to happen in the future.

While certain players may be grossly and obviously overpaid, and for long periods of time, it does not mean they are bad players. And if some of them are considered in decline, it does not mean they are without value to their current teams or possibly new ones via offseason trade.

That is what this list of players is all about—those with bloated contracts who can still have some decent-to-high value on the trade market. Some of the players seem close to being completely washed up, while others still have the potential to be heavy contributors or even MVP candidates.

Trades for some of them might seem unlikely, but never say never when teams have more than three months of cold weather to negotiate.

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Hanley Ramirez Injury: Updates on Red Sox Star’s Shoulder and Return

Hanley Ramirez‘s return to the Boston Red Sox has not been triumphant for either side in 2015, as the 31-year-old is out of the lineup with a shoulder problem.

After being held out of the lineup on Aug. 28, Ramirez remained out of action the following day against the Mets, Sean McAdam of CSN New England reported.

Continue for updates.

Ramirez Dealing with Fatigue

Friday, Aug. 28

According to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald, Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo said Ramirez has fatigue in his right shoulder.

Ramirez, while immensely talented, has always been an inconsistent player. Injuries have been a big part of that, as he played in fewer than 100 games in 2011 and 2013 and hasn’t played in more than 140 games since 2012.

That will be the case again this season, which has been the worst of Ramirez’s career. He is hitting .249/.291/.426, though he’s been only one of many Boston players to underperform in 2015. Dustin Pedroia has played in only 75 games; Pablo Sandoval has a .695 OPS. 

The Red Sox have gone through a difficult two-year stretch since winning the World Series in 2013, though they have been able to work in young talent like Mookie Betts and Blake Swihart because of injuries and the offensive struggles of players like Ramirez.

Considering Ramirez is in the first year of the four-year deal he signed in the offseason, the Red Sox should play things safe with the former All-Star so he can enter 2016 at full strength and prepare for a bounce-back season.  

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