If you thought waking up to news of the Red Sox finalizing a deal with Hanley Ramirez is disorienting, then you might want to take a seat. According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the Red Sox have also convinced Pablo Sandoval to come east to Boston to be their new third baseman, and that the Red Sox are paying him $95 million over five years, while holding a club option for a sixth.
This means Hanley Ramirez will not be the third baseman for the 2015 Red Sox, and also means that some room is going to need to be made in the outfield in order to accommodate both signings. Xander Bogaerts could also be dealt, but his low cost and years of team control are part of the reason the Red Sox can afford to sign both Sandoval and Ramirez to begin with.
Free Agent Must Reads
Sox haven't decided where Hanley will play
The Sox are reportedly finalizing a five-year, $90 million deal with free agent Hanley Ramirez, but haven't figured out just what they are signing him for.
Free Agent Must Reads
Sandoval owns a career 123 OPS+, and has spent his entire big-league run with the Giants in a cavernous, pitcher-friendly home park. While his power might not go up a whole lot in Boston -- the switch-hitter will spend most of his time on the left side of the plate, which isn't as friendly at Fenway as the right -- his average will probably shoot up thanks to the Monster in left. In addition, the rest of the AL East is far more hitter-oriented than the rest of the NL West was.
Sandoval's agent claims his client has not yet made a decision. All that might mean, though, is that Sandoval hasn't physically signed any contract. If you asked general manager Ben Cherington if the Sox had come to terms with Sandoval right now, his response would likely be, "With who?" Just before 10 am on Monday, ESPN reported on Twitter that Sandoval had come to terms with the Red Sox. So, that's Jon Heyman, Peter Gammons, and ESPN pushing that the deal is done. WEEI's Alex Speier was informed by Sandoval's agent that a decision is coming today, and the Giants reportedly feel a "growing resignation" that they've lost Panda to the Red Sox.
At this point, with so many reporters saying that it's done pending a physical, the only likely explanation for his agent's denial is because the physical hasn't been completed yet.
The most-likely next step for the Red Sox --assuming Sandoval is in tow -- is to trade Yoenis Cespedes to open up room in the outfield for Ramirez, and also to bring back one of the two quality starting pitchers the Red Sox will need if they plan for all of this offense to be of use. Supposedly, they also want to re-sign Jon Lester, and now that the lineup has Sandoval and Hanley in it, maybe the $120 million offer they made to him looks a bit more attractive today than it did a week ago.