FORT MYERS, Fla. — Hanley Ramirez has a solution for the Boston Red Sox’s power-hitting deficiency.
A healthy Hanley Ramirez.
“Oh yeah. No doubt,” Ramirez said Friday after reporting to spring training. “You’re gonna see it, for sure. Literally, I was hitting with one arm last year and I hit 23 [home runs]. Now that I feel good, there are not going to be excuses. Better go out there and hit 30.”
Source: Red Sox agree to bring back Nunez
The Red Sox have an agreement to sign free-agent utilityman Eduardo Nunez to a one-year deal with an option for 2019, a source told ESPN. The deal is pending the passage of a physical — hardly a formality, given the way Nunez finished last season.
“When you’re young, you need the big muscles to get stronger,” Ramirez said. “When you get in that age past 30, you’ve got to concentrate on the little muscles. You get that power from the big muscles, [but] when you get hurt, most of the times those little muscles stop working. You’ve got to keep working on those little muscles, which is what those bands do. They give you resistence and keep the little muscles working.
“The good thing about Tom Brady is winning. He’s winning and making his team better. When you’ve got a guy like that, who inspires people to get better and to show others that age is just a number, when you do the little things right, that’s what he does.”
Staying healthy could prove very lucrative for Ramirez. He has a $22 million vesting option for 2019 that will kick in if he exceeds 497 plate appearances this year. Otherwise, he would become a free agent in the packed 2018-19 class that could be headlined by sluggers Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson.
If the Red Sox eventually reach an agreement with Martinez to be the primary designated hitter, Ramirez might find playing time scarce, especially considering the team re-signed first baseman Mitch Moreland. But new manager Alex Cora maintained that he intends to base Ramirez’s at-bats strictly on performance.
“We expect Hanley to hit,” Cora said. “If he hits, he’s going to play.”
Said Ramirez: “We’re not thinking about contract. We just want to win a championship and produce. If you produce and win, they’re going to take care of it at the end of the year. I know that I’m going to hit. They’re going to find a place for me in the lineup.”