The Boston Red Sox are officially out of the Matt Kemp discussions, and after filling holes at first base, catcher and bullpen, the team is in pretty good shape. The one move GM Ben Cherington has confirmed he will make is adding another player to the left side of the infield.
The Red Sox brass has been on record that they would be comfortable with Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks being the starters on the left side of the infield, and might be looking to add a utility guy to back them up. Currently, Brock Holt is slated to be the backup at third base, but he can’t play short. Cherington has told the media, “We need two guys on the team that can play short, no matter what the names are,” making it clear a guy will be signed at short before the offseason is done.
The Stephen Drew rumors have been few and far between, but when one does come out, it is a link back to the Red Sox. As of this point in the middle of the Winter Meetings, it is expected that Drew will be re-signed. If he is, expect Spring Training to be a battle between Middlebrooks and Bogaerts for the Opening Day job at third.
If Drew is not re-signed, the market is pretty bare. Clint Barmes and Cesar Izturis might be the best available natural shortstops, with Omar Infante, Michael Young and Wilson Betemit available as utility guys who have experience at short.
After the up-and-down season of Middlebrooks in 2013 and the fact Bogaerts is still just a rookie with just a couple months of big league experience, Drew is clearly the Red Sox’ top target. It just comes down whether or not the two sides can come to an agreement on the number of years in a deal.