Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/24/14
Rockies-herrera-waits-the
The left side of the infield was one of the Red Sox’ most fluid situations in 2013. Adding to the mix for 2014 only makes sense. The Red Sox on Wednesday acquired utilityman Jonathan Herrera from the Rockies in exchange for relievers Franklin Morales and Chris Martin. The move hardly guarantees that Boston’s infield is fully assembled, especially with the Red Sox reportedly still interested in re-signing Stephen Drew, but Herrera brings an element of versatility that the club otherwise lacked. Herrera made 45 starts in 2013, including 28 at shortstop, 16 at second base and one at third base. The 29-year-old, who also appeared in two games in left field last season, has appeared in 181 games at second base, 114 at shortstop and 43 at third base over the course of his five-year major league career. Herrera is one of just four major leaguers to appear in at least five games at shortstop, second base and third base in each of the last four seasons, and he figures to wear a number of hats in 2014 as well, making him a nice complement to the Red Sox’ current infield cast at a rather reasonable price. Perhaps just as important as Herrera’s versatility in the field is that the Venezuelan is a switch-hitter with favorable career splits from the left side of the plate. Herrera is a career .272 hitter with a .337 on-base percentage from the left side and a career .248 hitter with a .295 on-base percentage versus left-handers from the right side. The splits were even more dramatic this past season, as Herrera batted .317 (46-for-145) with a .361 on-base percentage versus right-handed pitching and .220 (11-for-50) with a .264 on-base percentage against left-handed pitching. While such splits aren’t exactly ideal for an everyday switching-hitting infielder, they’ll work well for the Red Sox given that Dustin Pedroia, Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts are all right-handed hitters. Herrera isn’t a world-beater at the dish, but he’s capable of spelling any of the three aforementioned infielders on a given night. His .312 average (44-for-141) over his final 57 games in 2013 gives reason for optimism offensively, and his sure-handedness in the field despite somewhat limited range should be adequate enough, particularly when you consider the heavy workload that we’re accustomed to seeing from Pedroia. Herrera won’t be asked to play a huge role in 2014, but he’ll bring depth to an area in which Boston needed such. Plus, Herrera has a minor league option remaining, so the Red Sox won’t be pigeonholed into keeping him on the major league roster out of spring training — as they were with Pedro Ciriaco (who was out of options) last year. The Red Sox’ desire to deal for Herrera might also stem from their willingness to trade away Morales. The left-hander was redundant on a club featuring lefty relievers Craig Breslow and Andrew Miller, and Morales’ ability to serve as a spot starter was no longer the commodity it once was given Boston’s surplus of starting pitchers. The Red Sox’ real loss in the deal could actually be Martin, a 27-year-old who showed upside at Triple-A last season. But all things considered, the trade is a risk worth taking to improve the club in an area of need. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here. Photo via Flickr/Keith AllisonFiled under: Boston Red Sox, MLB, MLB Hot Stove, Opinion, Ricky Doyle, Top Stories
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Devils unveil unique coaching by committee situation

Report: 49ers expect Jim Harbaugh to take Michigan job

Report: Johnny Manziel fined for being late to treatment

Duke Johnson's mother says son will enter NFL Draft

Starlin Castro questioned following nightclub shooting

Report: Jeff Driskel thinking about transfer to Duke

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Browns suspend Josh Gordon for final game of season

Report: Rex Ryan has already cleaned out his office

Clint Trickett retires due to concussions, hid two

Drew Stanton likely out for the year, postseason included

Byron Scott: ‘Idiots’ think Lakers are better team without Kobe

Undrafted QB Connor Shaw to sign with Browns, likely start

Bears could clean house after season

Nebraska chancellor booed by Huskers players?

WATCH: Rory McIlroy trolled by 'Sweet Caroline' song

Auburn, Wisconsin players literally ate tons of food

Did Kobe Bryant respond to heckler with the rings count?

Doug Fister bought Starbucks for his Twitter followers

DeMarco Murray dumped over cheating accusations?

Video: Rudy Gay tosses half-court alley-oop to McLemore

WATCH: Craig Sager is touched by outpouring of support during leukemia fight

Hiroki Kuroda returns to Japan, ditches Yankees

Kevin Garnett: ‘Very weird’ to see Celtics without Rajon Rondo

Report: New Jersey Devils fire head coach Peter DeBoer

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Bears could clean house after season

Nebraska chancellor booed by players?

Johnny Manziel fined by Browns

Castro questioned after shooting

Rory McIlroy trolled with 'Sweet Caroline'

Browns suspend Josh Gordon

Kobe gives heckler the rings count?

Murray dumped over cheating scandal?

Rex Ryan has cleaned out his office

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things learned about NBA on X-Mas

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.