Four Ways a Hanley Ramirez Deal With Boston Red Sox Would Help Cincinnati Reds


Oct 6, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (13) reacts after the St. Louis Cardinals won in game three of the 2014 NLDS baseball playoff game 3-1 at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not often that a big star signing with another team helps the club that YOU root for, but that can become a very real possibility when the market is out of whack, as it is with offensive firepower in Major League Baseball this free agent season. In particular, if you believe reports, the Boston Red Sox are on the verge of signing Hanley Ramirez to a juicy new contract, which might help the Sawx but will certainly help other clubs as well. Here are the ways that Hanley-to-the-Red-Sox will benefit our own Cincinnati Reds.  

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Removing Temptation

While Ramirez’s landing with the Reds was a long shot at best, he is generally considered the best hitter on the free agent market this winter, and shiny objects tend to affect our judgement. Is it completely out of the question that an aging owner with a desire to bring a World Series championship to his city in the same year they host the MLB All-Star game would do something rash to make that happen?  Owners with a better baseball track record than the Reds’ Bob Castellini have been sucked into the free agent trap before, and removing the Hanley temptation is a good thing for the Reds.

Weaker National League Lineups

This one is simple: with Ramirez in Boston, that means less big bats the Reds have to face during 2015.  Cincinnati plays the Los Angeles Dodgers, Hanley’s former team, seven times in 2015, but they won’t meet the Red Sox until the World Series (hey, it could happen, right?). Not a huge difference, but if you can face Ramirez 30 less times than you would have, it’s a net win.

Money Drain From a Big Spender

Ramirez will be 31 years old next season, but as the biggest bopper on the market, you can be sure that he’s looking for a six-0r-seven-year deal.  The likelihood that the Red Sox will vastly overpay for his services at some point during whatever contract they sign is sky high, which means they’ll be in a pinch a again before the decade is over.  That will give smaller-market teams like the Reds a competitive advantage sometime down the road, whether in trading for young prospects, signing mid-level free agents or competing during the Sox’s next rebuilding year.

Stronger Market for Jay Bruce

If the Reds really are willing to trade rightfielder Jay Bruce, this is not the best time to do so, seeing as how Bruce just had his worse season and the Reds need an infusion of offense, not an exodus of the same. With Ramirez (and probably Pablo Sandoval) off the market, though, the demand for power hitters will only increase, which should give the Reds a boost in terms of the return they could get for Bruce.

The Red Sox should be much better in 2015 than they were in 2014, and a large part of that improvement should come from Hanley Ramirez.  Nevertheless, his new contract will likely come back to bite them at some point, and other teams in MLB, including the Cincinnati Reds, should be trickle-down beneficiaries of those consequences.