Nov 17, 2009, 1:26 PM EDT
By declining Alex Gonzalez’s option for next season the Red Sox moved Jed Lowrie back atop their shortstop depth chart for now, but Peter Gammons of ESPN.com reports that “it is clear they want Lowrie to play at Pawtucket, make up for what amounts to a lost season, and prove that his wrist will hold up.”
Gammons speculates that the Red Sox could look to re-sign Gonzalez for less than the $6 million option, go after another low-cost, short-term veteran like Omar Vizquel, or perhaps make a serious run at free agent Marco Scutaro, although his Type A status would cost them a first-round draft pick.
Prior to his wrist injury Lowrie had emerged as the Red Sox’s starting shortstop after hitting .258/.339/.400 with good defense as a 24-year-old rookie in 2008, but he appeared in just 32 games this season while batting .147. Counting on him to be the full-time starter again in 2010 is perhaps more of a risk than the Red Sox are willing to take, but clearly if he’s healthy Lowrie won’t be at Triple-A or on the bench for long.
All of which makes me think that they’ll go short term (Gonzalez, Vizquel, etc.) rather than make a multi-year commitment to someone like Scutaro. Of course, if reports about the Red Sox’s interest in J.J. Hardy are accurate they were certainly willing to make a multi-year commitment to him at shortstop. Boston reportedly offered Michael Bowden to Milwaukee in exchange for Hardy, but balked when the counteroffer was Clay Buchholz or Daniel Bard. Hardy ended up being dealt to Minnesota for Carlos Gomez.
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