Boston Red Sox: 5 Third Basemen They Should Aim to Pick Up off Waivers

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIAugust 21, 2012

Boston Red Sox: 5 Third Basemen They Should Aim to Pick Up off Waivers

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    It's just been that kind of year.

    Nothing has gone right for the Boston Red Sox. Their lone bright spot, rookie Will Middlebrooks, hit .288/.325/.509 with 15 home runs before breaking his wrist. While he's only been placed on the 15-day DL, there's a very good chance he misses the rest of the season.

    Boston is now in a delicate situation. The Sox need a third baseman, but need to avoid any options that will make the roster too rigid in the future.

    Here are a few waiver wire options Boston can explore before the final trade deadline.

Mark Reynolds

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    He's not the best option, but he's an option.

    Reynolds certainly isn't having his best season, belting just 12 home runs in 95 games. But, that's exactly why he might be available, and Boston can't be picky right now.

    The 28-year-old is signed just through this season, with a 2013 team option. Boston can use him for the end of the season, and then be done with him.

    If it counts for anything, he has a .959 career OPS at Fenway.

Placido Polanco

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    He's no spring chicken, but Polanco is still a solid option for Boston.

    Yes, he's hitting under .260 and has an OPS under .700. That's still better than a lot of other options out there. He's also under contract for just this season, with a mutual option for 2013.

    Who knows, maybe some more veteran leadership will get that clubhouse under control... though I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.

Jed Lowrie

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    Though he's currently injured, Jed Lowrie should be making his return any week now.

    The former Sox utility man has been having a breakout year in Houston, posting a .799 OPS with 14 home runs in 80 games. Though his natural position is at shortstop, the Sox know Lowrie can play third.

    I'm sure Boston is reeling from traders remorse and would be interested in having Lowrie back.

    With the future of shortstop still up in the air, Boston could find a way to make Lowrie work in the long term.

Aramis Ramirez

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    Acquiring a 34-year-old who is signed through 2014—with a 2015 option—isn't always the smartest move.

    Even with his age, Ramirez is going strong. He's hitting .289/.352/.510 with 17 home runs and 72 RBI, while leading the MLB in doubles with 40.

    The biggest issue with Ramirez is the contract. If Boston acquires him, this is a long-term move, not a rent-a-player kind of deal. If the Sox have any doubts about retaining David Ortiz, Ramirez is a perfect DH candidate for the future.

Chase Headley

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    A young stud in San Diego, Headley's been drawing up interest all season long. It's not hard to figure out why when he's batting .275/.365/.462 with 20 home runs, 72 RBI and 12 stolen bases.

    For most teams, Headley is a move for the future. It could be that way for Boston as well.

    If they make a trade to acquire Headley, the Sox will have two, young, stud third basemen. This would make the team incredibly flexible.

    After the season, Boston can turn Headley around for some prospects. Or if they want to keep him, he as experience playing first and left. Either way, I see this scenario as a best case for Boston.