It is not a move completely out of left field, but it is far from an ordinary one. The Boston Red Sox are committing $88 million to Hanley Ramirez over the next four years and hoping he will be right at home in front of the Green Monster at Fenway Park.
Ramirez will switch from shortstop to left field, hopefully reducing the wear and tear on his injury-plagued body, given he has averaged just 116 games over the past four seasons. The 31-year-old Ramirez has not played in the outfield in any of his 10 big league seasons, but is getting plenty of reps in Fort Myers, Florida, where Jet Blue Park has an imposing left-field wall and dimensions similar to those of its Boston counterpart.
"Sometimes you've got to look yourself in the mirror and see yourself [and ask] what can I do to help the team win," Ramirez said before camp. "I spoke with my people and they told me, 'You've got talent that you can play anywhere.'"
The Red Sox are known for embracing analytics, so they are aware this move is a bold one.