Red Sox’s Replacement Options at Shortstop Are Underwhelming

Tyler Maher
There are slim pickings at shortstop for the Boston Red Sox.
There are slim pickings at shortstop for the Boston Red Sox. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

When the Boston Red Sox signed Trevor Story last offseason, many interpreted the move as Boston acquiring Xander Bogaerts' future replacement at shortstop.

Sure enough, the Red Sox let Bogaerts walk in free agency this winter. Given Story's presence on the roster and an abundance of shortstop prospects in the minors (namely Marcelo Mayer), Boston still appeared to be set at the position for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, the news that Story underwent UCL surgery last week threw a massive wrench into those plans, as he'll now be out 4-6 months. The Red Sox are now scrambling to find a replacement for Story, which is especially poor timing given that this winter's premier shortstops have already signed elsewhere.

With Bogaerts, Trea Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson no longer available, Boston will be forced to settle for one of the less attractive names still on the market.

Red Sox Shortstop Rumors

The Red Sox are currently targeting Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar, neither of whom are close to the caliber of Bogaerts or Story. Andrus is 34 and has struggled to hit for power throughout his career with a lifetime .371 slugging percentage. Profar is younger at 29 and can play multiple positions, but his offensive numbers are also underwhelming.

Regardless of who Boston ends up with, there's going to be a major offensive drop-off at shortstop in 2023. Bogaerts was consistently one of baseball's best hitters at the position, winning five Silver Slugger awards in the past eight seasons. Story has a pair of Silver Sluggers under his belt as well, but Andrus and Profar haven't won any.

The Red Sox took a major risk by committing to Story -- whose elbow injury was common knowledge when they signed him -- and letting the more durable Bogaerts leave. Now they're out of a shortstop and a second baseman, which is far from ideal with spring training just around the corner.

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