Dustin Pedroia was ready to come back to the Boston Red Sox. Someone had to go away to make that happen, though. To the surprise of many, that man turned out to be Hanley Ramirez. The team designated the former star for assignment on Friday afternoon to make room for their franchise cornerstone. Boston's decision virtually guaranteed that Ramirez's time with the team would come to an end in the coming days. As he searches for new work, it's time to reflect upon his time with the team.

Miscast from the beginning

The relationship between star and team was doomed from the start, largely because of a decision management made.

As soon as the Red Sox signed Ramirez to a four-year, $88 million deal in 2015, they shifted him to left field. This despite the fact that he had no experience at the position. Sure enough, in an age where defense was finally beginning to be properly valued, Ramirez developed into the game's worst left fielder. By the end of the year, he was removed from the position.

In 2016, he was given an opportunity to play first. While he was no Gold Glove player, his defense was less of a liability, unquestionably. Meanwhile, he had one of his strongest offensive seasons yet. He racked up a career-high 111 RBIs. He had a memorable performance against the rival New York Yankees during the last weeks of the season.

Suddenly, it seemed as if Ramirez was going to live up to the hype that surrounded him when he arrived from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ramirez collapses

The following season wasn't a terrible one, per se. His batting average sunk and he stole only one base, despite a move to designated hitter to replace David Ortiz. But he still managed to club 23 home runs during the regular season.

He even heated up during the ALDS, arguably Boston's best player against the eventual World Series winners, the Houston Astros.

Even this season didn't start terribly for Ramirez. But he collapsed in May, hitting a horrific .163. His play forced Boston's hand, as the best team in baseball couldn't afford to be sunk by a struggling veteran.

So he had to go.

So what is Ramirez's legacy in Boston? Will he be remembered as an offensive juggernaut who helped usher in a new era of young stars? Or as a defensive liability who showed his offensive struggles by the end?

Ultimately, the answer is somewhere in between. He smacked 78 home runs in just over three seasons during his second stint with the team. But the team didn't win any AL pennants during that stretch, let alone World Series titles, which is how Boston measures success now. Baseball is a team game and Hanley Ramirez was a team player.

He just wasn't the right player at the right time.