The Red Sox are in the midst of a five game losing streak and have just placed Felix Doubront on the disabled list with a left shoulder strain. Middlebrooks is already on the disabled list and the hole at third became too unbearable and the Red Sox were forced to sign their World Series short-stop Stephen Drew.
Drew signed a $10.2 million deal with Boston on Wednesday and took the empty roster spot left by Doubront, but now comes the tricky part. Bogaerts will now slide over to third base leaving no room for Middlebrooks, who is down to his last option to Pawtucket.
GM Ben Cherington also was quoted just few days ago as saying he wanted Bogaerts to be the short-stop and that he had no plans on moving him, which was obviously bull crap. Damaged psyche for Bogaerts and a difficult situation now with Middlebrooks leaves me wondering why sign Drew?
Reports have surfaced about veteran players growing anxious/irritated with the younger players according to Felger and Mazz so is that the reason? If so, we are creeping back to the times when Boston catered too much to the veterans and the Colonel’s secret recipe was washed down only with the smoothest batch of Miller Lite. Please don’t take me back there.
“Anytime you sign a great player, it’s a positive thing,” Shane Victorino said. “A guy who’s been here before, a guy who’s part of that championship team. I think it’s very important.”
“He’s a great player,” second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “The more great players we can add, the better our team is going to be. Obviously what he did last year to help us win a World Series, he’s pretty valuable.”
“He’s a great player, great teammate,” Ortiz said. “Hopefully he’s bringing the same attitude that he had last year and help us out to win some games.”
Meanwhile the plan to incorporate Bogaerts into the short-stop player of the future is halted another year and it seems to be screwing with him.
“There was a lot going on today – I don’t want to make excuses, but it definitely was a tough day today,” Bogaerts said. “My heart is always shortstop,” he said. “They felt that we’re a better team with [Drew], so that’s why they went out and got him. And I was just feeling so good over there, but they made the decision they had to make.”
So now this is what we do. We give up on a rookie player a quarter of the way through the season. I think it’s utter crap. There was other ways to make your team better, easiest being the catcher, third base (not by moving Bogaerts over) and center field. The moves they made this offseason suggested a systematic approach. It was to deal with the growing pains and don’t sign any big deals that would hinder the development.
People, like GM Ben Cherington, are saying the problem is fixed short term, but I actually disagree. Getting Middlebrooks out of the lineup now does nothing for you. He’s not going to get you anything on the trade market and this was supposed to be the year to see just what he is as a player. Boston purposely didn’t sign Drew in the offseason because they had Bogaerts lined up for the future. Were they wrong about Bogaerts or are they impatient? – neither are the answer I want from my baseball staff.
The ball was dropped in the offseason when the likelihood the Red Sox were going to have to rely on three young players was very high because of the signings the Red Sox did make. They signed Grady Sizemore, who’s virtually guaranteed to be on the DL and hadn’t played in two years. They let Drew go in favor of Bogaerts. They made the choices then and should have the balls to stick with it when it’s not working.
The decision to sign Stephen Drew is an overreaction to a season in which all your bats have struggled (not just the young players), Buchholz is a shell of himself from last season and injuries have started to creep in. Offense is what you need and Drew is career .264 hitter. He’s not offensive, but nice try.
All things considered, the Red Sox are only back 3.5 games back from the top spot in the division when they decided to bail on the plan and now will have the chance to make up ground quickly at the expense of player development. I don’t fault them for making a move, but this one wasn’t it.