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Red Sox part ways with struggling Hanley Ramírez, Orioles unlikely to do same with Chris Davis

Boston Red Sox's Hanley Ramirez waits for his turn at batting practice during spring training, in Fort Myers, Fla. The Red Sox have designated Ramirez for assignment to make room for Dustin Pedroia on the 25-man roster as he returns from the disabled list.
Boston Red Sox's Hanley Ramirez waits for his turn at batting practice during spring training, in Fort Myers, Fla. The Red Sox have designated Ramirez for assignment to make room for Dustin Pedroia on the 25-man roster as he returns from the disabled list. (John Minchillo / AP)

The Boston Red Sox designated Hanley Ramírez for assignment Friday to make room for Dustin Pedroia on the 25-man roster as he returns from the disabled list.

The 34-year-old Ramírez was hitting .254 with six homers and 29 RBIs in 44 games this season while splitting his time between first base and designated hitter. Ramírez had been with the Red Sox since 2015 after signing a four-year, $88 million contract as a free agent.

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During his four seasons with the Red Sox, Ramírez batted .260 with 78 homers and 255 RBIs. By designating Ramírez for assignment, the Red Sox clear the way for Pedroia to make his 2018 debut. The 34-year-old Pedroia has spent all season on the disabled list after undergoing surgery on his left knee in October.

Pedroia, a four-time All-Star, had been Boston's Opening Day second baseman every year from 2007-17. He was the American League Rookie of the Year in 2007 and Most Valuable Player in 2008.

Both of Boston's big free-agent signings ahead of the 2015 season have been designated for assignment. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval was let go in July. Sandoval's deal was for $95 million over five years.

Ramírez, whom the Red Sox have seven days to trade or release, is still owed more than $15 million of his $22.75 million salary this season. Had he accumulated another 302 plate appearances for Boston in 2018, Ramírez would have secured his $22 million vesting option for 2019.

The Orioles would almost certainly be unable to make a similar move with their own struggling slugger, Chris Davis, who has had far greater struggles than Ramírez over the past two seasons. Davis, who has two fewer home runs, 16 fewer RBIs and 31 more strikeouts in 12 fewer plate appearances than Ramírez this season, is owed over $17 million annually through 2022, with another $42 million deferred until after the deal ends. (The installments are to be paid through 2037.)

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