The Red Sox are going to be on the lookout for third base help this winter, and have impending free agents Pablo Sandoval and Chase Headley at the top of their wishlist, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The team may also show interest in Aramis Ramirez if his mutual option with the Brewers is not exercised.
Boston's interest in third basemen may signal the end of the Will Middlebrooks era at Fenway, as the former top prospect seems to be a prime trade candidate this offseason. The 26-year old has struggled with injuries over the last two seasons, and has hit only .227 and .191 in each year, respectively. The Sox have prospect Garin Cecchini as a third base option, as well.
Sandoval, who won his third World Series with the Giants on Wednesday night, is expected to receive a qualifying offer from San Francisco and is open to a return to the club. Headley may return to the Yankees as an insurance policy for Alex Rodriguez, so he may not be an option for the Sox, either.
The Red Sox have money to spend this winter and appear to be prioritizing third basemen, so it seems likely that one of the Sandoval-Headley-Ramirez trio ends up in Beantown before spring training. All three players will receive multi-year, high value deals on the open market once free agency kicks off this week.