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Xander Bogaerts Stakes Claim to Shortstop

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It’s still very early in Spring Training but with each passing day, it looks like the Red Sox starting shortstop job will belong to Xander Bogaerts.

And once Bogaerts settles in, it could be the 21 year old’s spot for a long time to come – bringing stability to the position.

Joe McDonald points out that Dustin Pedroia has played with nearly a dozen shortstops over his 8 seasons with Boston – from Julio Lugo to Stephen Drew, with Nick Green (remember him?) mixed in too.

And Pedroia welcomes the stability of potentially having a long-term double play partner, saying, “That’s fun to have, and I haven’t had that, yet. I mean, a couple of years here and there, but you build a relationship with the guy and you don’t have to go into camp and get used to anybody.”

So what can we expect from Bogaerts?

Scott Lauber spoke with 6 rival scouts and executives, and the consensus was Bogaerts will be a standout major leaguer.

High praise comparisons like Hanley Ramirez and Manny Machado were offered.

One step in getting to that level will be Bogaerts learning how to handle the grind and nuances of the long major league season. He got a big head start on that process finishing the last 6 weeks of the 2013 season with the Red Sox – which included performing well on the biggest stage, the World Series.

Where is Drew Headed?

Drew has still not found a home – which means he could perhaps come back to Boston.

But New York is a more likely landing spot.

With Jim Bowden making a plea that the Mets should grab Drew (subscription required) – providing a big upgrade over current SS Ruben Tejada.

The Mets have their first draft pick in the 2014 draft protected – and they have already given up a second rounder as Curtis Granderson compensation.

So the cost for Drew would only be a third round pick – plus his salary.

Draft pick compensation is heating up as an issue with Tony Clark, new executive director of the MLB Players’ Association, calling it “a concern. Obviously we still have guys — very good players, quality players – that can help a number of clubs who are still on the market.”

Clark conveniently omits that Drew and others turned down one year, $14.1 million offers from their previous teams in the early part of the free agent season.

Jon Heyman points out other potential homes for Drew, listing the Blue Jays, Yankees, Pirates and Athletics.

Where do you think Drew will end up playing the 2014 season?

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