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Red Sox to assess options at short with Aviles gone

Red Sox to assess options at short with Aviles gone

Red Sox to assess options at short with Aviles gone
BOSTON -- Now that Mike Aviles has been traded to Toronto for new Boston manager John Farrell, where does that leave the Red Sox at shortstop?

Limbo would be a fair characterization. Jose Iglesias might get the chance to win the job in Spring Training. But general manager Ben Cherington said to stay tuned.

"We believe Jose is ready to be a Major League shortstop, but we're not ready to commit to that," Cherington said. "We'll look for ways to improve the team, and shortstop could be one of those areas.

"We'll see what opportunities exist. If there are ways to improve the team in other ways, we'll do that too. He can help a Major League team, particularly, if the rest of the roster is set up right."

In other words, the Red Sox would have to have a solid offensive player at nearly every other position to bank on Iglesias at shortstop at this point of the game. Already a plus defender, Iglesias struggled mightily at the plate during his late-season audition with the big league club, hitting .118 with a homer and two RBIs in 68 at-bats.

"Good defender," said Farrell. "Showed good range, particularly to his glove side. A couple of times, you saw him get the bat head out and take some aggressive swings. There were other times he got tied up a little bit offensively. Whether it's a matter of strength, whether it's a matter of timing in his swing, we'll find more out about that as we get deeper here."

Pedro Ciriaco is another player who could be part of Boston's shortstop solution next season. He was solid as a utility player in 2012.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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