Red Sox Speak With First Baseman Nick Johnson

Red Sox Speak With First Baseman Nick Johnson Assuming the Mike Lowell deal with Texas goes down, the Red Sox will be in need of a third baseman.

Or will they?

The Red Sox have shown interest in Adrian Beltre to take over the hot corner if Lowell heads to the Lone Star State in exchange for catcher Max Ramirez, but the former Seattle third baseman is reportedly seeking anywhere between $10-12 million per season. A cheaper alternative? Move Kevin Youkilis back across the diamond and add a less-expensive veteran first baseman.

Enter Nick Johnson, who split time in the NL East between the Marlins and Nationals last season. Johnson's agent, Rex Gary, has confirmed with ESPNBoston.com that the club has spoken to him about his client.

In 133 contests last summer, the left-handed hitting Johnson hit .291 with a .831 OPS. Although he added just eight homers and 62 RBIs, he did spent the majority of the season (98 games) in the weak Nats' lineup, which finished 24th in the majors in team batting average.

The 31-year-old with eight MLB seasons under his belt has a career .273 batting average and hit a career-high 23 homers and 77 RBIs in 2006. In 16 career games at Fenway Park, the one-time Yankee has one homer, 10 RBIs and a .263 batting average (15-for-57).

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