Reasons the Braves Should, and Shouldn’t Pursue Hanley Ramirez

(Photo Credit: Associated Press)

To the shock of literally everyone, Hanley Ramirez was DFA’s by the Red Sox. While we can only speculate as to their reasoning, part of it likely had to do with his $22M player option next season. This is in effect only if he reaches 302 ABs this year. If not, he no longer has a player option. This part of the contract is crucial for anyone who wants  to sign him, especially considering his 177 ABs already this season. That leaves him 125 ABs through the remaining for the rest of the season. Teams will likely wait for him to clear waivers in 7 days before signing him so they don’t take on the $15M he is owed for the remainder of the season.

Pros to the Braves signing him:

– He would be an upgrade on our bench

I know that he isn’t having a remarkable season in his standards, but his numbers are good enough for almost any bench. A .254 BA, 6 HRs and 29 RBIs is a pretty strong case for a starting position. He would certainly be an upgrade over Ryan Flaherty at 3B, who has declined significantly since his hot start to the season. Additionally, Hanley Ramirez has more “pop” in his bat. I would much rather see Hanley Ramirez in a PH situation late game with RISP than I would Ryan Flaherty. Plus, off the bench, he would stay under 300 ABs, which would keep the Braves salary cap low heading into FA next offseason.

– He is a low-risk, high-reward situation

Just like Jose Bautista. We can sign him for the league minimum of $535k. If he does well, great! If not, we can DFA him and not really lose out on much. We could even test out 3B and see how he does there.

Cons to the Braves signing him:

– They would have to create room for him

Someone would have to either be released or sent down to AAA Gwinnett in order to make room for him. Flaherty would be the replacement probably, but if he doesn’t perform very well, Flaherty is good enough you wouldn’t find a decent bench bat for that price as easily, especially with the season being in full swing already. Camargo has officially been named the starting 3B, so it wouldn’t make any sense to send him down. Charlie Culberson would be likely to be released if the Braves do sign Ramirez, as he has little value. He is not a power hitter, does not have a good BA, and plays average defense when put in. Preston Tucker is all who is left. He has options remaining, so it could work there. He has been reliable off the bench, however, so it would make little sense to send him down. The only plus would be that he would be able to get ABs in AAA.

– He probably wants a starting role

For someone who has only ever been a starter, I doubt that he would be eager to accept a role as a bench piece. That’s all he would be in ATL unless he can play 3B (never has in his career) and showed consistency with his bat. Due to his option within his contract, Atlanta is not going to give him enough ABs to earn his player option. He would come off the bench as the first or second choice, depending on LH/RH matchup, but we wouldn’t offer him the starting role he likely deserves.

So what do you say? Should we give him a chance in ATL?

By Andrew Carter @AndrewC_Braves

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