Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports

Hanley Ramirez talks Pablo Sandoval: 'It's a sad moment'

Rob Bradford
July 14, 2017 - 8:24 pm

And then there was one.

On Nov. 25, 2014, the Red Sox rolled out a pair of press conferences at Fenway Park, first introducing Pablo Sandoval and then Hanley Ramirez. The club billed the moment as a jumping off point for how it had taken it's offensive production to another level.

Nine hundred and sixty two days later, Sandoval is gone and Ramirez is left discussing the player who is now his former teammate.

"It's common sense. You have to produce. That's why you make your money. That's what you sign for," Ramirez told regarding Sandoval's departure. "If you don't produce, what's going to happen? The only thing you can control is working hard and getting back out there. It's a sad moment."

When asked if he was surprised upon hearing the news that Sandoval had been designated for assignment with $48.3 million left on his contract, Ramirez responded, "Yeah, I was."

Yet at the same time the Red Sox designated hitter seemed firmly resigned that this is just a reality of the business.

"This is baseball. You never can be comfortable," Ramirez said. "I don't know what to say. Pablo is a great guy. He was always working hard. But at the same time, it's baseball and anything can happen."

As Ramirez pointed out, the results business caught up to Sandoval, who hit .237 with a .646 OPS and 14 homers in just 161 games. The player he was introduced with? He hasn't exactly lived up to his four-year, $88 million deal, but has been clearly more valuable than his counterpart, totaling a .268 batting average, .802 OPS and 62 homers in 326 games.

Now, Ramirez is the one trying to live up to the rest of his deal, which could actually extend another two years beyond this one thanks to a vesting option for 2019. (Ramirez will be paid $22 million for '19 if he can combine for 1,050 plate appearances between this year and next.

The vibe the DH was giving off Friday was one of optimism, for himself and his team.

"I'm really happy for the young guys. That's the key," said Ramirez, referring to Sandoval's replacements, Deven Marrero and Tzu-Wei Lin, at third base. "I know it's a long season and you're going to have your ups and downs. They don't know that, but that's what we're here for, to let them know about the season and keep everybody in the same lane."