Ramirez intends to play winter baseball during the offseason and will attempt to sign with a major-league team for the 2019 campaign, Jon Heyman of FancredSports.com reports. Ramirez was let go by the Red Sox at the end of May, and he failed to find work elsewhere within the league for the remainder of the year. He got off to a rough start with Boston through the first 44 games of the season, batting .254 with six home runs, 29 RBI and 35 strikeouts. Despite this, the 34-year-old believes he still has something left in the tank and figures to at least draw an invitation to spring training.
Ramirez is not involved with any federal or state investigation, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports. Ramirez was reportedly connected to an incident in which drugs were recovered by police in a traffic-stop search. Ramirez was not present for the incident, which reportedly involved a friend who dropped his name in hopes of avoiding arrest. This contradicts prior reports which held that the driver said the drugs belonged to Ramirez and that the driver FaceTimed him during the stop. Assuming this latest report is accurate, there shouldn't be any legal issues preventing Ramirez from finding a new major-league team.
Ramirez is being "eyed" in connection with a federal and state investigation, Michelle McPhee of ABC News reports. McPhee told 98.5 The Sports Hub on Friday that investigators are determining whether Ramirez was connected to a recent traffic stop -- for which Ramirez was not present -- where drugs were recovered by law enforcement. Though Ramirez, the Red Sox organization and Major League Baseball denied knowledge of any law-enforcement activities surrounding this incident, there have been whispers around Boston media that some negative story on Ramirez has been due to come out. McPhee, who previously was involved in breaking legal news surrounding Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, told the radio show about reports police stopping a driver tied to a widespread Massachusetts drug ring. When the drugs were found at the traffic stop, the driver allegedly told the police the substances belonged to Ramirez and FaceTimed him during the stop. There'll probably be more to come regarding the veracity of this report, whether Ramirez is actually involved and whether any of this will hinder his ability to find another big-league job.
The Red Sox announced the release of Ramirez on Friday, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports. This was the expected result after Boston designated Ramirez for assignment last week, with no team willing to put a waiver claim on him due to his hefty contract. The 34-year-old can now sign with any team without the burden of his previous salary. Ramirez slashed .254/.313/.395 in 195 plate appearances with Boston this season, and was in the midst of an 0-for-21 skid when he was let go.
The Red Sox have requested unconditional release waivers on Ramirez, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. He'll more than likely become a free agent in two days after passing through waivers untouched (thanks to his hefty contract). The 34-year-old had hit .254/.313/.395 across 44 games with the Red Sox prior to being designated for assignment last week.