Red Sox closing in on deals for Ramirez, Sandoval

( – The Boston Red Sox are apparently set to make a big
splash in free agency, as reports indicate that both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo
Sandoval have agreed to multi-million dollar contracts.

Numerous media outlets, including Fox Sports, said Ramirez will sign a deal
worth $90 million over five years, while has reported that
Sandoval will earn close to $100 million over five years.

Ramirez will return to the team that originally signed him as a 16-year-old
from the Dominican Republic. The shortstop played just two games for the Red
Sox in 2005 before he was shipped to the Marlins as part of the package that
sent pitcher Josh Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell to Boston.

In 6 1/2 seasons with the Marlins, Ramirez developed into a star. He was the
National League’s top rookie in 2006 and earned three All-Star selections with
the Marlins, who traded him to the Dodgers in 2012.

Ramirez is a career .300 hitter, but has battled injuries in the past two
seasons in Los Angeles. He played just 86 games in 2013 and batted .345, then
in 128 games last year hit only .283 with 13 homers and 71 runs batted in.

Where the soon-to-be 31-year-old Ramirez will play in Boston is still a
question with Xander Bogaerts currently slated to be the club’s shortstop.

Sandoval would likely be Boston’s new third baseman after spending six full
seasons manning the position for the San Francisco Giants. He was part of
three World Series championship teams for the Giants, and was the MVP of the
2012 Fall Classic.

In 869 games for the Giants since 2008, Sandoval is a .294 hitter with 192
doubles, 106 homers and 462 runs batted in. He batted .279 with 16 homers and
73 RBI in 157 games this past season.

Sandoval, a two-time All-Star, has been a clutch performer in postseason play
with a .344 career average in 39 playoff games. He hit .366 for the Giants in
the 2014 postseason, including .429 in the World Series victory over Kansas
City last month.

The Red Sox are trying to revamp an offense that tied for the second-worst
batting average in the American League last season at .244, had the second-
worst slugging percentage at .369 and scored just 634 runs, better than only
three other teams.