Reviewing the Brew Round-table: The future of third base
By Benjamin Orr
What will the Brewers do with Aramis Ramirez in or after 2014? Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
This past season, the Milwaukee Brewers had to deal with some rough patches at the corner infield positions. While the team is still trying to figure out first base, the future of third base may be in question as well going forward.
The question for the staff this week was, “Do you think the Brewers will end 2014 with Aramis Ramirez, or have a new third baseman?”
“I think Ramirez will end season in Milwaukee and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Brewers picked up his option in 2015. The Brewers are without another capable starting third baseman and don’t have a prospect anywhere near ready. Nicky Delmonico is at least three years away from the bigs. However, if Milwaukee lands a third baseman in a trade, that’s a different story.”
“I’m not sure what to think here. Aramis would ideally be traded at some point in 2014, but aging and injuries may prevent that. I’m ultimately going to go with no, but I have little confidence in that.”
“This is so much easier to answer once the season is underway. Right now I believe the Brewers will keep Aramis Ramirez through 2014. When healthy, Ramirez has been a productive third baseman. He has also been a team leader, something needed after the 2011 clubhouse leader departures. Most importantly though, who else is going to play third base? Given the difficulty filling a need at first base, I just don’t see how the Brewers will address the hot corner through free agency. Ramirez stays, by default.”
“Aramis Ramirez will be the Brewers’ third baseman at the end of 2014. Ramirez batted .283 in 2013 ranking 7th amongst all MLB third baseman with more than 300 PA’s, meanwhile ranking 5th in on-base percentage. Although Ramirez is starting to be a liability defensively, Jeff Bianchi and Juan Francisco aren’t a massive upgrade in the field and certainly won’t bat close to .280. The Brewers are unlikely to want to pay someone else to play Ramirez and due to his expensive contract he will be worth very little in a trade. I would expect him to remain in Milwaukee and play around 120 games, sharing the remaining playing time with Bianchi. Furthermore. I expect him to play a key role throughout the season.”
“Based on what we know now, I’d have to say Ramirez would stay at third. The reason why general manager Doug Melvin is shying away from trading Ramirez now is because the Brewers don’t have a back-up plan for third base. We saw this past year how third fared with Ramirez out and it was just as horrendous as first base. I don’t know that the Brewers will bring him back for 2015, though they do have the option to on his contract. They very well may bring him back for 2015 because of the lack of players for the position.”
That’s what we had to say about the future of third base in Milwaukee, how about you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!