Free Agent Friday: Red Sox options at third base

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Sep 13, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez (16) watches his solo home run in the fourth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

3. Aramis Ramirez

Now, we’re getting into more realistic territory. If the Red Sox do miss out on the elite options due to cost or disinterest or anything else, then Ramirez will provide a fallback option who, unlike Johnson, is a legitimate starting third baseman.

Ramirez has dealt with some injuries since signing with the Milwaukee Brewers before the 2012 season, but when healthy, he has been quite solid for the Brew Crew. His .285/.330/.427 slash line is the latest chapter in a trend of above-average seasons, a benchmark that he has surpassed in eleven of the last twelve years.

However, there’s no doubt that Ramirez is slowing down. He’ll be 36 years old on Opening Day next season and has lost some of the power that once made him an elite third baseman. Still, with those age concerns come the greater likelihood of a shorter, cheaper contract and, with those previously-mentioned issues in the rotation, a one-year deal could be an attractive option for the Red Sox. He’s not the most likely candidate for the third base gig, but he would likely be a passable third baseman at the least and his stability certainly has value.