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Alex Cora: Hanley Ramirez DFA was one of hardest parts of 2018 season

Ryan Hannable
October 23, 2018 - 5:55 pm

With the Red Sox winning the AL East and 108 games during the regular season, from the outside it may have seemed like it was an easy season for first-year manager Alex Cora, but prior to Game 1 of the World Series he noted it did have its challenges.

One of the biggest was making the decision to DFA Hanley Ramirez on May 26.

"When you have to make decisions, it's always tough. Sending guys down, taking them out of the lineup. The Hanley situation, that was a tough one," he said. "And it's not easy. It's not easy. It's always cool to give guys good news. But it's always tough to give guys bad news. And throughout the season you have to do that and that's the tough part. But we have a job to do as an organization and you have to make moves that you feel that are going to benefit what we're trying to accomplish. But that's the tough part. That's a very tough part of the job."

Cora added: "People made a big deal about that I was the one that pushed for the decision, but we've been talking about that particular situation, with Dustin [Pedroia] coming back, since spring training. And we saw like a hundred different scenarios. And Pedey was coming back, Mitch [Moreland] was swinging the bat well. So we felt as far as Hanley performing as a backup guy to our pinch-hitter, it wasn't going to work. Hanley needs his at-bats to be good.

"He wasn't swinging the bat well. He was having trouble catching up with velocity. He wasn't hitting the ball in the air. He was hitting a lot of ground balls. But at that point we felt that Mitch defensively and offensively was going to be an upgrade and we were going with him, we're going to go with him, and at the same time we knew that Blake [Swihart] was going to be a big part of us. He wasn't playing that much. He wasn't catching. But still his versatility was huge for us. He can run. He can play first. He can catch, play the outfield. So we felt that versatility was a big part of what we needed and that's why we made the move."

Activating Pedroia was the corresponding move for DFA'ing Ramirez.

The 34-year-old didn't catch on with another team the rest of the year and is still a free agent.

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