As the off-season continues on, the one spot the Milwaukee Brewers will want to keep an open eye for isn’t necessarily just the pitching, but third base. This past season we saw a very unhealthy Aramis Ramirez who just did not look like himself from the previous two seasons.
Is it time that the Brewers find a fresh face for third?
It’s no secret that the Brewers’ production out of third base this season was a bit lackluster, shifting between a hurting Ramirez, a Juan Francisco who completely cooled off and yes, even Yuniesky Betancourt. Going forward, they’re going to need a stable body there and nobody in the farm system really matches the description. Sure the team could toy with the idea of placing Taylor Green or Jeff Bianchi at third, but are they really every day guys? Third base is soon to become the new void in the Brewers’ infield that will need filled in the coming years.
Internally, the options for third base run razor thin after Green and Bianchi. There’s Sean Halton, but he seems more comfortable at first and even in the outfield. Ramirez does have one year left on his contract, but the team had been talking about possibly trading him. If that were to be the case, then either Green or Bianchi has to become the starter for third come 2014, but if they don’t trade him, can Ramirez even stay healthy next season after three trips to the disabled list this year?
The free-agent market isn’t anything too impressive and most of it looks to be a downgrade from what even a hurt and bruised Ramirez can produce. There is the option of the team going after Mark Ellis as staff writer Ryan Connor talked about, but most of the free-agent third basemen are either the same age or older than Ramirez.
We all worried about how bad first base would be without a solid player there, but third has the potential to be worse than that scenario. At first, the team did re-sign Green and Corey Hart could be soon to follow. At third, there’s Ramirez and that’s really it for starters. If I had to choose between Bianchi and Green, I’d probably go Bianchi at third if need be, but then again, what other options does the team even have?
It’s going to be tricky down the road for the Brew Crew when it comes to third base. Pretty much every other position in the line-up is solidified, but Ramirez’s injuries make third base the weakest link. Hopefully Ramirez doesn’t have to see the DL three times next season, but the Brewers need a back up plan for the position and soon.