Is Will Middlebrooks on the Trading Block?
The Boston Red Sox still have several moves ahead of them, but Ben Cherington has not been shy in saying they will be adding someone that can play shortstop, either as a starter or a backup. With Stephen Drew still out there, and the market for him much smaller than initially expected, it appears the leaders in the clubhouse to sign him this offseason are the Red Sox. If they do indeed resign him, Xander Bogaerts will likely become the starting third baseman, leaving Will Middlebrooks as the odd man out and potentially available to be traded.
The most obvious team, in terms of need, would be the Miami Marlins. The Marlins have actually spent some money this offseason, but still have a hole at third base and are looking for guys that can be long term fits for a reasonable cost, which is exactly what Middlebrooks is, given he still has as many as five years of club control left.
The most logical deal for the Red Sox and Marlins is no longer on the table as Logan Morrison has been dealt to the Seattle Mariners. Morrison could have been a guy that can play first and corner outfield, spots the Red Sox could use a little depth in the long term. The Marlins would likely look to build a deal around pitcher Jacob Turner, but the Red Sox have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to arms both in the big leagues and high minors. The Marlins would have to include a utility infielder that can handle both middle infield spots in the deal, and a guy like Donovan Solano would fit that bill well.
There isn’t another team that has a real pressing need at third base, so the Marlins may be the only suitor at this point in the offseason. Assuming the Red Sox do re-sign Stephen Drew, they will have two options, accept a deal that is likely a little below market value from the Marlins or wait into the regular season and make a deal to a team that needs a third baseman due to injury. Regardless, if Drew resigns as member of the Red Sox, it is unlikely Middlebrooks stays with the team through the year.