The Orioles are reportedly considering free agent infielder Hanley Ramirez, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The report was later confirmed by the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, who says general manager Dan Duquette mentioned the signing was “under consideration.” That doesn’t necessarily mean a deal is imminent, however, especially as the Orioles already have a plethora of first base/designated hitter types at their disposal.
Helping matters: Rosenthal adds that there’s a shared history between Duquette and Ramirez, as the GM orchestrated Ramirez’s four-year, $88-million deal with the Red Sox back in 2014 and has an idea of what the slugger brings to the table. After a four-year run with the Sox, the 34-year-old first baseman was released on Friday in order to clear roster space for the now-injured Dustin Pedroia. He’s batting a modest .254/.313/.395 with six home runs and a .708 OPS in 195 plate appearances this year.
Even assuming Ramirez continued to improve on those numbers, there’s still the question of Baltimore’s first base/DH logjam. Chris Davis is the presumed starter at first, despite his career-worst .152 average and -1.7 fWAR. Mark Trumbo, Danny Valencia, and Pedro Alvarez have been trading off DH duties in the meantime, and both Trumbo and Valencia are hitting at a fair clip above Ramirez, too. On the other hand, the Orioles likely won’t be the only team interested in the veteran infielder this year, so Ramirez may not want to jump at the first offer he gets.