Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 10/22/14
The Red Sox shipping Jose Iglesias to Detroit and acquiring Jake Peavy from the Chicago White Sox in a three-team trade still does not solve one problem this year Boston had: Stephen Drew, the 30-year-old who is hitting .226 this season. Even the worst of times this year for Iglesias at shortstop have been comparable to Drew’s hitting performance all season. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens  General Manager Ben Cherington’s thinking is easy to follow: Drew is his guy at shortstop for 2013 and players like Brandon Snyder, Brock Holt, and Will Middlebrooks (if and when he returns) can fill the void at third base. Boston gets a good pitcher for a guy Cherington thinks can be replaced. The problem is that Iglesias should have been playing shortstop all along. The Sox have not wanted to admit they were wrong on Drew and feel because they paid him a good chunk of change he needs to play. The fact that Drew has hit above Iglesias in the order all season tells you all need to know about that. Iglesias should’ve been a shortstop because of his fielding. David Ortiz recently called him the best fielder he has ever seen. No one is saying that about Stephen Drew. If the Red Sox believe it’s all about pitching and defense, what about the defense? By itself, getting Jake Peavy was a good move. He’s an above-average pitcher who can fill Clay Buchholz’s void (whose mysterious injury situation gets more frustrating by the day). But was starting pitching really a huge problem? The starters lately have been John Lackey, Ryan Dempster, Jon Lester, Felix Doubront, and Brandon Workman. By the numbers, the highest ERA of the pack is Dempster at 4.24. Jake Peavy’s ERA is 4.28 this season. The best part of this deal is the ability to put a guy like Brandon Workman in the bullpen, a place where they actually need pitching help. This deal just screams that the Sox are afraid of the Tampa Bay Rays’ pitching staff. However, Boston’s real problem in games they’ve lost has been hitting and not pitching. In the last seven games Boston has lost, they’ve scored two or fewer runs in each of those games. Peavy won’t make this starting staff a bad one, of course. He’ll just make a pretty good rotation still pretty good. In other words, he won’t be replacing a bad pitcher in order for him to start. There is one big reason Cherington made this deal, and his name is Xander Bogaerts. The 20-year-old has never played a game in the major leagues and has played in Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket this season. For the Triple-A PawSox, Bogaerts is hitting .273 with eight home runs and 24 RBIs in 42 games. Boston is saying Bogaerts is who it wants for the long-term at shortstop and not Iglesias. But wouldn’t you rather have a player who has experience in the big leagues versus someone who hasn’t? Many have also said that Iglesias isn’t hitting and will continue to be a poor hitter. However, Drew hasn’t hit all season and somehow that is perfectly fine. Dustin Pedroia has been slumping as well, yet he just signed an eight-year extension. Baseball players go through slumps. The bottom line is that if Bogaerts is the real deal he should be at shortstop right now for the Red Sox. Otherwise, the Red Sox might have traded away another good shortstop just like they did with Orlando Cabrera and Alex Gonzalez in favor of busts like Edgar Renteria and Julio Lugo. Many prospects have been busts from Boston, most recently the likes of Lars Anderson. While Bogaerts could be all he’s been hyped up to be, he is an unknown at the big-league level, and doesn’t appear to be coming up to the majors just yet. This deal sends mixed messages. Getting Peavy says it’s all about winning the World Series in 2013, but keeping Drew at shortstop says the complete opposite. What I do know is that the Red Sox dealt a player who should be at shortstop and has been very successful in the majors in favor of “depth” in a player worse than him in Drew and a unknown in Bogaerts. I’ll take the known any day of the week. -Langlois
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