Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reported the news Monday, noting Boston "would eat some 2018 money" in a potential deal. However, Drellich also noted Ramirez's "plate appearance clause that kicks in for 2019 makes it very tough."
According to Spotrac, the 2019 option on Ramirez's contract vests if he accumulates 1,050 plate appearances in 2017-18. His total salary for 2018 is $22.8 million and would be $22 million in 2019.
The Red Sox announced Monday they signed first baseman Mitch Moreland to a two-year contract. Alex Speier of the Boston Globe said the signing "does seemingly rule out" the possibility the Red Sox would add free agent Eric Hosmer, though he granted they could go after J.D. Martinez if they're fine "with walking away from Hanley deal."
Bob Nightengale of USA Today went so far as to say the Red Sox "clearly want one man, and one man only" in Martinez, so getting rid of Ramirez could be a prerequisite to adding the slugger.
Ramirez, who made 553 plate appearances in 2017, was the 2006 National League Rookie of the Year and has three All-Star appearances, two Silver Sluggers and a batting title on his resume, but he will turn 34 years old Saturday.
His .242 batting average last season was the lowest of his career, and he slashed .242/.320/.429 with 23 home runs and 62 RBI. His durability is also a concern considering he last reached the 150-game mark in 2012 as a member of the Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ramirez's role could be diminished if the Red Sox sign Martinez, and his contract is hefty for someone who may already be in a platoon—making a possible trade all the more enticing for Boston.