Report: Red Sox Exploring Options To Upgrade Left Side Of Infield

Will MiddlebrooksThe Red Sox currently face several issues after being swept by the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park. It appears Boston might be proactive in trying to address at least one of those problems.

An industry source told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that the Red Sox are exploring multiple options in an attempt to upgrade the left side of their infield. Boston’s efforts reportedly include calling teams regarding potential trades.

The left side of the Red Sox’s infield has been below average this season. Rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts has endured some growing pains, and third baseman Will Middlebrooks has been plagued both by inconsistency and injury problems. Middlebrooks, who missed time in April with a calf injury, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a fractured finger, and it’s unclear how long he’ll be out of action.

WEEI.com’s Alex Speier reported Saturday the Red Sox have not reengaged free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew in talks despite the team’s struggles. Bradford reports the same, adding that some in baseball believe Drew’s agent, Scott Boras, might be waiting until after the Major League Baseball draft in June to push his client, as teams no longer would be required to relinquish a draft pick to sign the 31-year-old.

Signing Drew — or acquiring any shortstop, for that matter — theoretically could lead to Bogaerts shifting to third base, where he spent time last season, including during the World Series. It doesn’t appear Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington is in any rush to move the 21-year-old off his natural shortstop position, though.

“We don’t have any reason to believe he can’t play short,” Cherington said Sunday, according to the Boston Herald’s Scott Lauber. “You’ve got to keep going in the right direction, but he looks, to me anyway, a little more comfortable out there making the routine plays. And that’s all he needs to do.”

Cherington acknowledged on WEEI.com’s “The Bradfo Show” podcast that the left side of the Red Sox’s infield hasn’t met expectations this season. And while Cherington didn’t get into specifics, he also didn’t shut the door on a potential upgrade.

“There is always an interest in improving,” Cherington said. “The default position is always let’s see how much we can get internally first, and then consider external alternatives after that.”

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