True story: My wife and I share a birthday. Same exact date, three hours apart to the minute.
Wednesday was our birthday. We didn’t get to spend the day together last year. This year, a simple dinner would do. So I told my editor months ago that I was booking a three-night stay at the Winter Meetings hotel, then taking off Wednesday night. Play it by ear Thursday.
I pulled out of San Diego with the Jimmy Rollins trade still simmering, not looking like it would be resolved Wednesday, and Dee Gordon and Dan Haren firmly about to become Marlins. Checked with sources, felt good about the story, filed it at a Starbucks in Temecula, barely caught wind of the Brandon McCarthy signing before I turned off my iPhone. Because no good husband would constantly check his iPhone looking at sports news or doing work stuff during the birthday dinner.
Hanley Ramirez batted .283 with 13 home runs and 71 RBIs in 2014. (Getty Images)
Hanley Ramirez was not expected to return to Los Angeles in 2015. Andrew Friedman’s decision to let him sign elsewhere was going to save the Dodgers a lot of money wherever Ramirez signed, but it was not terribly difficult. The Dodgers had good reason not to give Ramirez a multi-year contract, and Ramirez did not reject the Dodgers’ qualifying offer only to sign a one-year deal somewhere else.
The Boston Red Sox had several reasons to take an interest in Ramirez. They have a designated hitter, David Ortiz, who turned 39 on Tuesday and can become a free agent after the 2015 season. They have their shortstop of the future, Xander Bogaerts, already in place. They have a glaring need for offense at third base (Boston third basemen had a .580 OPS last season, 14th in the American League).
They also draft seventh in next year’s entry draft. Only the teams that draft 1-10 are able to sign a player who rejected a qualifying offer and keep their pick, so the Red Sox had more incentive than some teams to make a big pitch.
Soon, it appears, they will have Ramirez under contract for next season and beyond:
Sources say Hanley’s deal with #RedSox will be in range of five years, $90M.