Will Middlebrooks had a very solid 2012 season and was one of the few bright spots during a dark year for the Boston Red Sox. It looked as though he could be some solid protection behind David Ortiz. However, he struggled quite a bit in 2013 and at one point was sent down to Pawtucket to try to regain his power stroke. Unfortunately, it seems as though the writing is on the wall that he will be playing for another team in 2014.
Boston has made it clear that they are very interested in bringing back Stephen Drew to play shortstop. They are just waiting for the price to go down on him, and as the winter has progressed it seems more and more apparent that no other team is going to be signing Drew. It will be good to see Boston have another year with the same shortstop. They tend to go through more players at that position than Spinal Tap went through drummers.
With Drew more than likely playing short, rookie Xander Bogaerts will be playing third base. That makes a lot of sense because Bogaerts tends to profile more as a third baseman than a shortstop due to his body type. It had been mentioned that third could be the position Bogaerts would have ended up at some point anyways. The little glimpse that we got to see of him late in the season and especially in October showed he is ready to have a regular spot in the lineup.
This leaves Middlebrooks without a position. At one point he might have been considered for first base, but now with Mike Napoli returning that is out of the question. There just isn’t a place for him in Boston, and they would be smart to sell high and trade him for perhaps some pitching or maybe a center fielder if Jackie Bradley doesn’t work out. I would love to see Michael Bourn in a Red Sox uniform. There should be a demand for a young player with Middlebrooks’ power, and it just makes sense to get something for him instead of having him sitting on the bench taking up space.
I don’t think it is a matter of if he will be traded; it is more when this will happen.