Kim what bugs some of us is that the Sox have a tendency to prize offensive production out of shortstop even as the semi-post-PED era has reduced offense in general and out of that position specifically.
I consider that an old wives tale. How many offense-only SS's have we had? Renteria could hit, but was also a multiple GG-winner. Gonzo was here twice with no bat. Lugo was split, but didn't really hit or field. Drew had a good offensive season, but he is probably more on the glove side. Iglesias can't hit, and Marrero was drafted purely for defense.
I think we've simply sought the best overall solution, but our SS's after Nomar were much better defensively than offensively.
Nomar was a horrible fielder, especially at the end of his time with Boston.
The Cabrera trade and Pokey Reese signing was certainly a strong move towards defense at SS, but it was short-lived. Once we won the ring, they were gone.
Renteria stunk on D when here with a -9.6 UZR/150.
Alex Gonzalez Part I was a lot of fun to watch. (+9.7 UZR/150 in 2006)
Lugo had decent range, which offset the rest of his defense enough to make hima plus on defense, until he got hurt. His UZR/150 in 2007 was only -0.6, but his RnGR was +3.2.Unfortunately, that was early on with Boston (2008 was -3.3 and -63.1 in 2009).
Alex Cora was supposed to be good, but was -8.1 in 2008. Lowrie was never known for defense, especially range.
Nick Green had a plus UZR but was a joke of a fielder. Alex Gonzalez Part II ended up +14.1 in 2009, but looked worse to me than the Part I version.
Mark Scutaro should have moved to 2B a year earlier, but with Boston, that was not going to happen. He had a -4.5 UZR/150 in 2010. Lowrie was aat -15.5. 2010 was not a good year for Sox SS defense. He did edge over on the plus side for 2011, but bad years from Lowrie and others kept the team under zero. Scoot was never signed for his defense.
Mike Aviles did better than I expected (+5.2 in 2012), but I seriously doubt we signed him thinking we'd be plus on defense.
Drew also did better than expected (+6.7), but we traded away Iggy. Out of 37 MLB SSs with 750 innings played since 2012, Iggy placed 2nd best at +18.3.
I can see the case being made that we have not valued defense at SS as much as other teams, but we have had some good ones along the way....