2B Pedroia returns from bad knee, rejoins Red Sox on Friday

"We're going to put him in a spot where, I do feel, he's going to be a run producer", Cora added.

Pedroia has traditionally hit near the top of the batting order. Boston has seven days to work out a trade or grant Ramirez his unconditional release. Moreland is slashing.311/.390/.612 through 34 games while Swihart has enjoyed just 30 plate appearances, inactivity that prompted his representatives to ask Dombrowski for a trade on May 16.

The finely tuned working duo of manager Alex Cora and president Dave Dombrowski are firmly in control of the Red Sox right now and for the foreseeable future.

Ramirez returned to Boston as a free agent in 2015, signed by General Manager Ben Cherington - who was the Red Sox farm director when Ramirez was with the Sea Dogs.

The Red Sox and the Braves do not meet on an annual basis like they did when interleague play began and it has been a while since they have both been good when they do meet.

"The vesting option has nothing to do with it", Dombrowski said.

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Oh, and Blake Swihart, a young, cheap player with mysterious offensive potential who many thought would be designated for assignment rather than Ramirez, will stick around and play more instead of being dumped in a one-sided trade. He was batting.341 with three home runs and 17 RBI's. Mitch Moreland has batted cleanup.

Ramirez was stuck to either first base or DH.

Boston Red Sox DH Hanley Ramirez takes off his batting helmet after grounding out with bases loaded during a September 29, 2017, game against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park. It's tough. I haven't spoken with him yet. "For how good of a player he is, it was going to be hard". Everyone knows about my relationship with him.

Ramirez has an option on his contract worth $22 million for 2019 that would vest if he reaches 497 plate appearances this season. I care about him and his family.

After being benched to start last season's ALDS, Ramirez went 8 for 12. Add in the salaries of Pablo Sandoval ($18 million), who was released previous year, and Rusney Castillo ($11 million), who was taken off the roster and is playing in Triple-A Pawtucket, and the Red Sox are paying $44 million for players not playing in Boston. In part, yes. While you wouldn't have expected Ramirez's bat to decline so suddenly, the left-field experiment was an enormous risk, given few players had ever transitioned from infield to outfield at that age. I'm excited about it.

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