If the Red Sox don't re-sign Stephen Drew, they'll likely go into the 2014 season with Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field and Xander Bogaerts at shortstop, and that will be a gamble, given their inexperience, WEEI.com's Alex Speier writes. To find a World Series-winning team that had rookies as their primary starters at center field and shortstop, one has to go all the way back to the 1959 Dodgers, with Don Demeter and Maury Wills. That doesn't prove much, of course. A few decades' worth of World Series-winning teams isn't a huge sample size, and as Speier points out, the Red Sox have recently blended in young up-the-middle players in Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie while still having very successful teams. But there may be value in having stability at tough defensive positions. Here are more notes from the East divisions.
- The Orioles still could look for a closer, starting pitcher and hitter, CSNBaltimore.com's Rich Dubroff writes. It's unclear whether the O's will go with Tommy Hunter at closer, or perhaps sign free agent Fernando Rodney. Plenty of free-agent starters who have been connected to the Orioles, including Bronson Arroyo and A.J. Burnett, are still on the market. Dubroff also says the Orioles are more likely to sign Kendrys Morales than Nelson Cruz to help their offense.
- If the Orioles want to acquire premium talent in a trade, they may have to give up a good pitching prospect or two, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun argues. That doesn't mean they should trade Eduardo Rodriguez for Ike Davis, however, as the Mets reportedly asked.
- The Mets could look for depth options in case anything goes wrong with their rotation, writes Michael Baron of MetsBlog. Baron speculates that Daisuke Matsuzaka or Aaron Harang, both of whom pitched for the Mets in 2013, might be possibilities. The Mets will also have several internal options available, including prospects Rafael Montero, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard.
The 2007 Red Sox had Dustin at 2B and Jacoby at CF as rookies and they seemed to be alright. May have even won some awards at the end of the season, I’d have to look it up.
Coco Crisp was the center fielder for most of the 2007 season, though Ellsbury was a major contributor in the playoffs (he makes for a nice Xander Bogaerts analogue, actually).
I would rather Bogaerts be the guy. Drew is a good player, and I liked him, even when he wasn’t hitting, but payroll is almost maxed out and now is the time to insert these two players that we’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about, into the lineup.
Bogaerts can play 3rd and Middlebrooks can go play for a nice new team.
I thought Middlebrooks showed a lot of potential in 2012…. and even more in the end of 2013 when he was called back up from assignment… He sacrificed power for the ability to hit to both sides of the field. Something could be there, but something may not be there.. I just wouldn’t give up on him too quickly in the case that he lives up to that potential.
I could care less with what they do with Middlebrooks. I think he has potential, but another poor showing in a long slump and his value is all but nothing.
Yeah but paying Drew top dollars for mediocre performance plus not getting the draftpick is better. Let Drew walk. And don’t give me the he is a good offensive shortstop, he is a BAD offensive player period. Play Xander at short and find some cheap backup at yhird if Mibblebrooks falters and spend the Drew money on something that will make the team better.
I agree, sometimes you just have to let the kids play even if it is a gamble.
A sample of 54 out of a population of 110 is plenty.
But a population of 109 (no World Series in 1904 or 1994) isn’t really all that useful, if you consider the nature of the sport, also if you consider how much the game seems to change every generation or so.
Completely agree. But that makes the original point of being young up the middle vis-à-vis defending a WS championship moot. The argument is weak all around, not just because of sample size.
You have the best Sox prospect this century you play him. X-Man is your SS. Let Drew find a home elsewhere.
At some point you have to roll with your top prospects. Give them a shot.
Orioles get the majority of the Nats’ broadcast revenues and they still can’t find money to spend?
The O’s are poorer than the A’s, or that’s what they’d have you believe. Pathetic! Duquette has Bowie and Norfolk primed for the playoffs though… WOO HOO!!!
DD isn’t the one to blame
I didn’t blame Duquette, I only mentioned that the moves he’s made thus far have loaded the rosters of Bowie and Norfolk because they’ve all been of the minor league variety. Everyone knows who the blame lies with! The O’s have one of the most exciting, young cores in all of baseball, and King Peter always said he’d go get the missing pieces when the time came; another lie from the ambulance-chasing asbestos attorney.
Duquette’s done pretty well for himself since coming over…
I think the Sox would do well by resigning Drew. It’s not about Bogaerts v. Drew but Middlebrooks v Drew which is risky when combined with Bradley replacing Ells. They probably can get Drew on a good deal too. Resigning Drew would keep stability for a team coming off a world series.
Its weird how everyone assumes Victorino cant win the CF job and someone else plays a corner. Victorino is a plus defensive CF
Sox need a plus defender who could cover center in rf.
He’s not competing for a job in CF. There’s nothing to “win.” It’s a matter of whether or not they want to risk him getting injured playing there.
I think it has more to do with Red Sox management saying they want to keep Victorino in RF and find a CF with better range. If you’re the CF in Boston you have to deal with ricochets of the Monstah, the triangle in deep center, and the bullpens jutting out in right-center. The Sox seem more than willing to sacrifice hitting from CF if they can get a top defender. Victorino is good, but he is aging and CF would wear him down over a full season.
There is almost nothing left on the free-agent market except slightly damaged goods. At this point it is probably better for the Orioles to address their needs with trades.
That is a shameful state Of affairs, but that is what Dan has caused through his inaction
There was nothing great to begin with.
You really think the absence of spending was DD’s idea?
I’m sure most O’s fans know Angelos is the culprit.