Here are the arguments for the three most likely positions:
The Argument: Don’t mess with Bogaerts’ development by changing his position. Leave him right where he is and develop him as the Red Sox shortstop for the next ten years starting in 2014.
Position: Third Base
The Argument: Not much of an argument here. Will Middlebrooks is playing 3B for the Red Sox for the foreseeable future. There is not good depth behind Middlebrooks in the Red Sox system, however, so if Middlebrooks gets hurt again in 2013, Bogaerts may end up getting a lot of at bats at 3B.
The Argument: Bogaerts is blocked in the infield for 2013. The Red Sox have good position depth at SS. If you want your best lineup on the field, then moving Bogaerts’ bat to the outfield where he could be the starting LF for the next decade isn’t a bad idea. If the Red Sox are in the pennant race heading into late 2013, wouldn’t they want the uber-talented Bogaerts to give them the same kind of boost that Manny Machado gave to the Orioles last year? Would playing the outfield be easier on the body and prolong Bogaerts’ impact on the lineup long-term? Can Bogaerts play some outfield for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic so we can see him running down fly balls?
Here’s the bottom line question: do the Red Sox want to get Boegarts on the major league club this year? If so, they might have to move him to OF, baring injuries. I don’t think the Red Sox will move him. I think they purposefully went after a guy like Stephen Drew on a one year deal so that Bogaerts and Iglesias can compete for the SS job in 2014 and beyond and they are committed to this plan. But if the Sox are within shouting distance of the pennant in 2013 and Bogaerts is raking in the minors, I think we have to work out a way to get him in the lineup by the end of this season. If this means playing some outfield, then I’m all for it. It’s baseball, not rocket science. No rule says a guy can’t play outfield one year and shortstop the next.
Do you think the Red Sox should consider moving Bogaerts? Discuss in the comments section below: