So what would the Red Sox look like with Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval?

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The deals are not done yet. Hanley Ramirez is said to be close and Pablo Sandoval is not even signed yet (though some dude claims Sandoval was on his flight to Boston last night; we’re clearly in silly season, folks). And heck, it could be that the Sox went after Ramirez with the notion of giving up on the pursuit of Sandoval. But let us ponder what the 2015 Red Sox look like if both of these highly-sought-after infielders sign in Boston.

Well, for one thing they probably aren’t both infielders anymore. Sandoval would be. He’d be the Red Sox’ Opening Day third baseman and, eventually I presume, their DH once David Ortiz retires. But what of Ramirez? Because the Sox have Xander Bogaerts to play shortstop, and he’ll certainly play it way better than Ramirez can.

You have to figure Ramirez becomes an outfielder. And you have to assume that he’d be the left fielder because, really, isn’t that where you’d be most likely to put a converted infielder? And if Hanley Ramirez is an outfielder some dudes need to be moved. Because at the moment they Red Sox have a lot of outfielders: Mookie Betts. Yoenis Cespedes. Rusney Castillo. Shane Vicotorino. Allen Craig and Daniel Nava are floating around too.

Yoenis Cespedes has been rumored to be on the block already. If both Sandoval and Ramirez were signed he could be traded, either on his own or packaged up somehow with, I dunno, Will Middelbrooks, likely for some much-needed starting pitching. And that, of course, is assuming the Sox don’t also sign Jon Lester which, heck, I suppose they could too. At any rate, they could enter 2015 with a lineup like this:

1. Mookie Betts RF
2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
3. David Ortiz DH
4. Hanley Ramirez LF
5. Pablo Sandoval 3B
6. Mike Napoli 1B
7. Xander Bogaerts SS
8. Rusney Castillo CF
9. Christian Vazquez C

That would play. And, you have to figure — assuming they use their cash and thier outfielder surplus to get some pitching — would make the Sox the early favorites in the A.L. East.

Orioles catcher Jesús Sucre retired the White Sox in order last night

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The Orioles don’t yet have the worst record in baseball. They’re tied for the most losses with 16, but they have two more wins than the Marlins and one more than the Royals, so let’s say that they have overachieved to this point. Kudos to being a bit plucky in the early going!

But make no mistake: the Orioles are not a good team and I suspect they will soon be the worst in the league. When they are, they will likely get blown out quite often and when they are blown out they will put position players on the mound more than almost any other team. Heck, they’ve done it three times already this year and the season is only three weeks old.

The latest Orioles position player to pitch was catcher Jesús Sucre, who took the mound in last night’s 12-2 loss to the White Sox. And he wasn’t half bad! He retired the side in order and needed only nine pitches to do so:

There once was a time when it was a novelty to see a position player pitching. It happens all the time now, partially because of blowouts, partially because teams have decided it’s better to get embarrassed a bit than to burn a bullpen arm in a game they’ve given up trying to win.

I suspect the Orioles will take the practice to a whole new level in 2019, though. For better or for worse.