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Red Sox cut ties with Hanley, release slugger

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- Unable to find a trade partner for Hanley Ramirez, the Red Sox released the veteran slugger on Friday.

Ramirez is now a free agent, and any other team can sign him for the prorated minimum.

BOSTON -- Unable to find a trade partner for Hanley Ramirez, the Red Sox released the veteran slugger on Friday.

Ramirez is now a free agent, and any other team can sign him for the prorated minimum.

Ramirez had a vesting option for 2019 that was to kick in if he reached 497 plate appearances this season. He was on track to reach that number with the Red Sox, compiling 195 in 44 games before the club designated him for assignment last Friday. The vesting option for '19 no longer exists now that Ramirez has become a free agent, but the Red Sox will still be on the hook for the balance of his $22.75 million salary in '18.

The 34-year-old hit .254/.313/.395 with six home runs and 29 RBIs for the Red Sox this year. Ramirez had a solid start to the season, hitting .311 with three homers and 17 RBIs in his first 103 at-bats. He was hitless in his final 21 at-bats before getting designated for assignment.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

By parting with Ramirez, the Red Sox opened up a regular spot in the lineup for first baseman Mitch Moreland, who is having a solid season.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Hanley Ramirez