Bogaerts focused on short with Drew unsigned

Bogaerts focused on short with Drew unsigned

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- At some point, Stephen Drew will sign with the Red Sox or somebody else and the uncertainty can stop.

But Red Sox manager John Farrell doesn't want it to distract Xander Bogaerts, who will be Boston's starting shortstop assuming Drew doesn't return.

"I can tell you the conversations with Xander to date have been to focus on shortstop," Farrell said. "If that needs to be adjusted we'll address it at that time, but we're moving forward with the players that are here. That's probably the short answer I can give you."

If Drew's uncertain status drags on much longer, Farrell sounds as if the Red Sox might just move on from him and bring closure to the situation.

"Oh, yeah, I think the one thing that we don't want is a lingering what-if if Stephen is still out there," Farrell said. "I think in all fairness to our guys, our clubhouse, guys that would be affected if he were to be brought in, certainly I can't speak for [general manager] Ben [Cherington] in this situation, but I think the more that we know what our team is going to look like, or at least those guys in our clubhouse, it probably settles some of that wondering if another player is going to join us."

If Drew did return, Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks would likely be in competition to be the starting third baseman.

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.