Red Sox alternate history: 2014-15

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May 29, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter Hanley Ramirez (13) reacts after striking out during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Hanley Ramirez is not signed.

The prodigal son returns is the theme the Red Sox management bandied about. The five-tool player who returns to the fold with baggage that is both pro and con.

Ramirez even went so far as to mesmerize management with his willingness to change positions. A shift to left field and for that 100M you get some spectacular power numbers. You also get as we have seen some defense that often leaves the observer scratching their head over questionable decision making.

Ramirez can hit. April proved that. Ramirez has also shown he’ll play after getting numerous dings and dents. Ramirez has said the right things in that regard by not playing the “injury card” for a deteriorating May.

So that means we go back to Bradley and Castillo. If the Red Sox decided in 2014 to sign Castillo – as they did – that would mean that they likely would have passed on Ramirez. Castillo is a superior defender and exhibits a higher level of competency on the bases. The key is also money. Castillo’s contract is simply less of an obligation and money can be diverted elsewhere.