The Red Sox just got rid of their biggest Yankee killer.
Hanley Ramirez was designated for assignment on Friday, the team announced, confirming a Boston Globe report, in order to make room for second baseman Dustin Pedroia returning from offseason knee surgery.
“Thank you #RedSoxNation. It’s been real. Love you always,” Ramirez tweeted Friday afternoon.
The Red Sox have seven days to trade or release Ramirez, who still had $15 million remaining on his contract this season.
The decision to DFA Ramirez also frees the Red Sox from the 34-year-old exercising his $22 million vesting option for next season.
Ramirez needs 497 plate appearances to guarantee the money for next season and was already well ahead of pace to reach that number with 195 plate appearances.
The first baseman/DH was still productive for the Red Sox, hitting .254 with six home runs and 29 RBI mostly out of the No. 3 or two-hole in the Boston lineup. Ramirez, however, has struggled of late, hitting .163/.200/.300 line in the month of May, and went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his most recent performance on Thursday.
He was particularly effective against the AL East division rival Yankees, hitting .354 with three home runs and nine RBI in six games against the Bombers this season.