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Alex Cora On Reported Hanley Ramirez Criminal Investigation: 'I Hope It's Not True'

BOSTON (CBS) – Red Sox manager Alex Cora said after Friday night's game that he was surprised to see reports that former player Hanley Ramirez is "being eyed in connection with an ongoing federal and state investigation."

Ramirez, 34, was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on May 25 and was officially released from the team on June 1. Ramirez had been on track to make 497 plate appearances, which would have automatically triggered the vesting option that would have put the Red Sox on the hook for Ramirez and his $22 million salary for the 2019 season.

When Ramirez was released, Cora and the team's front off said the move was a baseball decision. On Friday, Cora reiterated that when asked about the reports of Ramirez's potential legal situation.

"Surprised," Cora said about learning the news. "But I heard it, I read it, I guess people are going to ask me about it and the only thing - the organization didn't know about this and I didn't know about this. Our decision was made basically on baseball, baseball-related. I hope it's not true."

A Red Sox spokesman said the team was unaware of any investigation until a reporter reached out Friday afternoon.

According to one report, Ramirez is "being eyed" for a possible connection to a large fentanyl ring in Lawrence. No charges have been filed against the former Red Sox player.

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