The Red Sox have released left-hander Thomas Pannone and first baseman Roberto Ramos from their minor league contracts, as reflected on each player’s respective transactions tracker at MLB.com. It seems both players could explore opportunities in South Korea. Pannone told Joe McDonald of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette (Twitter link) he was soon to sign with a KBO team, and McDonald suggests Ramos may do the same.
Pannone has 49 big league appearances under his belt, all of which came with the 2018-19 Blue Jays. He tallied 116 innings of 5.43 ERA ball in a swing role over that stretch, and he’s spent the past couple seasons in the upper minors. Pannone struggled mightily with the Angels’ top affiliate in 2021, but he’s had a strong showing in Worcester this season.
The 28-year-old’s 4.57 ERA across 63 innings with the WooSox doesn’t stand out, but he’s paired it with quality strikeout and walk numbers. Pannone has fanned 26.7% of batters faced while handing out free passes to a meager 3.1% of opponents. That quality work against upper minors hitters will get the former ninth-round pick a shot at the highest level in Korea, where he’ll no doubt earn a loftier guaranteed salary than he’d been as a depth arm in Worcester.
Ramos, 27, is no stranger to Korean baseball. A former Rockies prospect, he topped out at Triple-A in the Colorado system but signed on with the KBO’s LG Twins in advance of the 2020 season. The left-handed hitter blasted 38 home runs during his first season with the Twins, compiling a .278/.362/.592 showing through 494 plate appearances. He had an average first half with the Twins last year and was released in mid-June due to injuries.
This February, Ramos hooked on with the Sox on a non-roster pact. He’s struggled in his return to affiliated ball, hitting .158/.287/.342 with a huge 37.8% strikeout rate in Worcester. That’s obviously not the kind of showing for which he’d been hoping, but Ramos impressed during his first KBO season a couple years back and drew some attention from evaluators for his raw power during his time as a prospect.