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MLB: The 7 best free agent fits for Hanley Ramirez

Podcast, Hanley Ramirez, MLB

The Boston Red Sox certainly made headlines around MLB when they decided to designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment.

Ramirez had been in Boston since the 2015 season and was at his best in a Red Sox uniform during the 2016 when he collected a 3.0 fWAR to go along with a .367 wOBA, a 128 wRC+, 30 home runs and an .866 OPS.

While he never was able to replicate that kind of success, or the kind of hitting prowess he showed early in his career with the Marlins and Dodgers, Ramirez still provided the Red Sox with a decent source of power in the middle of the lineup.

However, Boston had plenty of other options at his positions (first base and designated hitter) including J.D. Martinez, Mitch Moreland and Blake Swihart.

He’ll now seek pastures new following the decision by the Sox to designate him for assignment.

These are the veteran’s best fits should he reach the free agent market.

7 MLB teams who should consider signing Hanley Ramirez

Colorado Rockies

The most obvious fit on paper, Colorado’s first baseman have so far put together the league’s worst collective fWAR at the position. They also entered play Thursday with a paltry 37 wRC+ and a similarly poor .250 wOBA.

Ryan McMahon is the long-term answer at the position, but he hasn’t taken over the job on a full-time basis.

Bringing in Ramirez would make plenty of sense for the Rockies as his presence would allow McMahon to develop at a less-rushed pace, while also offering Bud Black some flexibility in the outfield.

The veteran would allow the manager to rotate Ian Desmond, who’s seen some action at first base, in the outfield corners along with David Dahl, Carlos Gonzalez and Gerardo Parra.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Ramirez would be quality compliment to Josh Bell, who generally doesn’t hit southpaws particularly well (29.0% hard hit rate, 95 wRC+).

Widely pegged as a rebuilding club of sorts in 2018, Pittsburgh has surpassed expectations so far, with a 29-26 record.

The Bucs are only two games back of the second Wild Card. Pittsburgh is also six games back of the streaking Brewers in the National League Central. Adding Ramirez would certainly help them try to keep pace in both races as the summer progresses.

New York Mets

As a team, New York’s National League franchise is currently 23rd in ISO. What’s more, the Mets’ current options at first base—Wilmer Flores and Adrian Gonzalez—have been right around league average, if not a small tick above where wOBA and wRC+ are concerned.

With Dominic Smith yet to establish himself at the Major League level, Ramirez could be the short-term solution the Mets were expecting Gonzalez to be.

Seattle Mariners

Ryon Healy only has a .283 on-base percentage on the year and is still much better against lefties than righties. Ramirez, who has a track record of hitting both handed pitchers, would provide some added power and length to a Mariners lineup that will be without Robinson Cano for the foreseeable future.

The M’s certainly aren’t hurting for impact hitters, with Kyle Seager, Nelson Cruz, Mitch Haniger and Jean Segura on hand, but Ramirez would give the lineup the necessary firepower to potentially hang with the Astros for an entire season. Speaking of the Astros…

Houston Astros

Talk about the rich getting richer.

Houston may find it more prudent to stick with Yuli Gurriel and J.D. Davis at first base, but if there’s one area of need for the Astros, it’s first base.

Gurriel has started the year on a cold streak, with an 85 wRC+, a .291 wOBA, a 3.3% walk rate and just one home run in 181 plate appearances. Marwin Gonzalez could eventually see more time at first, but the ‘Stros currently need him in left field with Derek Fisher and Josh Reddick on the shelf.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The team on this list that is biggest stretch in terms of fit, Ramirez would make sense back in Los Angeles if the Dodgers shift Cody Bellinger to center field on a more full-time basis, otherwise the fit isn’t there.

New York Yankees

Another unlikely fit as the Yankees could simply stick with Greg Bird, Tyler Austin and Neil Walker. However, Hanley Ramirez would be an upgrade over the trio.

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