Hanley Ramirez is back in baseball.
The former Red Sox designated hitter agreed to a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians, according to ESPN. Ramirez will join the team in Arizona for spring training once he passes a physical.
The Red Sox released Ramirez on June 1 following an underwhelming start to the season. He hit six home runs in 44 games and posted a slash line of .254/.313/.395. After Boston cut him loose and inserted J.D. Martinez as the full-time DH, Ramirez sat out the remainder of the year.
“Good for him,” Sox manager Alex Cora said Sunday, per the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham. “He went to winter ball and he played a little bit… He’s an everyday player. If he gets his at-bats he might be able to produce. He’s still young enough. In the situation we were in, the at-bats were going to be less and less and we weren’t going to maximize his talents.”
The 35-year-old’s four-year, $88 million deal with the Red Sox expired following the season. Over the course of his 14 MLB campaigns, Ramirez is a .290 hitter with 269 home runs and 281 stolen bases with Boston, the Miami Marlins, and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Cleveland dealt Edwin Encarnacion, their designated hitter last season, to the Seattle Mariners in December. Although the Indians have since acquired Carlos Santana and Jake Bauers, the DH spot could still be open for Ramirez provided his spring training audition goes well.
Ramirez signed with the Red Sox as a 16-year-old international free agent in 2000. He made his MLB debut for the Sox in 2005, then departed before returning in 2014 for a four-year stretch in Boston.