How to deal with the Red Sox’ first base vacancy

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Jul 2, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox left fielder

Hanley Ramirez

(13) celebrates with Boston Red Sox third baseman

Pablo Sandoval

(48) after hitting a home run during the first inning in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Option B: Move somebody else to first base

In a vacuum, this would make the most logical sense for the Red Sox. Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval has been horrendous in left field and third base, respectively, this season. In fact, they’ve been so bad defensively that their fielding exploits have overridden their offense contributions to the point that they have been below replacement level, per FanGraphs.

By moving Ramirez to first base, the Red Sox would be able to take him out of the outfield– an experiment that has clearly failed thus far. Similarly, if the Red Sox were to move Sandoval across the diamond to first base, they could place Ramirez at third base, a position that he’s had some experience at least.

On another note, the Red Sox have given longtime designated hitter David Ortiz some time at first base in the past week and he’s yet to embarrass himself there. If Ortiz occasionally filled in at first, the Red Sox would be able to get Ramirez’s glove off the field entirely by DH’ing him.

Unfortunately, we aren’t in a vacuum and this plan might not make as much sense as it appears on the surface. After all, none of these players really has any experience at all at first base and shifting them to a hugely important position halfway through the season could lead to some hiccups down the stretch run.

Plus, perhaps most importantly, none of these three players have really showed any interest at all in moving to first base. In fact, both Ramirez and Ortiz uttered the same two words when asked if they’d consider playing first on a regular basis: “Hell no.” The Red Sox don’t want to drive a rift between the team and three important, longterm players so they’ll likely avoid this option, at least this season.