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Red Sox and left fielder Hanley Ramirez agree to four-year contract

Infielder Juan Francisco designated for assignment

BOSTON, MA-The Boston Red Sox today agreed with left fielder Hanley Ramirez on a four-year contract through the 2018 season. To make room on the 40-man roster, infielder Juan Francisco was designated for assignment. Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington made the announcement.

A three-time National League All-Star, Ramirez, 30, hit .283 with 35 doubles, 13 home runs, 71 RBI, 56 walks, and 14 stolen bases in 128 games for the division-champion Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014 as the club's primary shortstop. He hit .321 with runners in scoring position, eighth best in the National League, and ranked 10th in the NL in both on-base percentage (.369) and RBI ratio (6.3 AB/RBI).

BOSTON, MA-The Boston Red Sox today agreed with left fielder Hanley Ramirez on a four-year contract through the 2018 season. To make room on the 40-man roster, infielder Juan Francisco was designated for assignment. Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington made the announcement.

A three-time National League All-Star, Ramirez, 30, hit .283 with 35 doubles, 13 home runs, 71 RBI, 56 walks, and 14 stolen bases in 128 games for the division-champion Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014 as the club's primary shortstop. He hit .321 with runners in scoring position, eighth best in the National League, and ranked 10th in the NL in both on-base percentage (.369) and RBI ratio (6.3 AB/RBI).

Ramirez, who will wear No. 13, is the only major leaguer with at least 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases in each of the last nine seasons beginning in 2006, his first full big league campaign.

Following a mid-August stint on the disabled list in 2014, the right-handed batter hit .305 in his final 28 regular season games, including a .440 average (22-for-50) over his last 16 contests.

Over the last two seasons, he ranked sixth in the National League with a .306 average, 11th with a .382 on-base percentage, and sixth in slugging (.525). His .907 OPS in that time ranked ninth in the majors and fifth in the NL behind only Troy Tulowitzki (.974), Paul Goldschmidt (.946), Andrew McCutchen (.931), and Michael Cuddyer (.907).

Originally signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent in 2000, the Dominican native made his big league debut in 2005. The following offseason, nine years ago yesterday, he was traded to the Florida Marlins as part of a seven-player deal that brought Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett to Boston.

Ramirez joins Miguel Cabrera, Matt Holliday, and Albert Pujols as the only active major leaguers with at least a .300 batting average and a .500 slugging percentage in 5,000 or more plate appearances.

In 2006, his first season with the Marlins, Ramirez hit .292 with 17 home runs and 51 stolen bases and was named NL Rookie of the Year. He hit at least 20 homers over each of the next four seasons, earning All-Star Game starts in three consecutive years from 2008-10.

He was named to the NL's Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Team both in 2008, when he led the majors with 125 runs scored, and in 2009, when he topped the NL with a .342 batting average and finished second in NL Most Valuable Player voting.

Acquired by the Dodgers in July 2012, Ramirez has hit .356 (16-for-45) with seven extra-base hits and nine RBI in 13 career postseason games, all during the last two seasons.

In 1,223 career games over parts of 10 major league seasons with the Red Sox (2005), Marlins (2006-12), and Dodgers (2012-14), he has hit .300 with a .373 on-base percentage, .500 slugging percentage, 822 runs scored, 303 doubles, 30 triples, 191 home runs, 654 RBI, 506 walks, and 261 stolen bases in 1,223 games. Primarily a shortstop, Ramirez has also played 98 games at third base, all in 2012. 

He played for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic in both 2009 and 2013, when the Dominican team won all eight games en route to the WBC title.

Francisco, 27, had been claimed off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday. The left-handed batter played 106 major league games in 2014, all for Toronto, and hit .220 (63-for-287) with 16 doubles, two triples, 16 home runs, and 43 RBI. Over his major league career, the Dominican native has played 197 games at third base (161 starts) and 87 games (77 starts) at first base, hitting .236 (235-for-996) with 50 doubles, four triples, 48 home runs, and 152 RBI in 404 games for the Cincinnati Reds (2009-11), Atlanta Braves (2012-13), Milwaukee Brewers (2013), and Blue Jays (2014).

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