Who to add at SS is possibly the last decission to make. Drew or a lesser player? And how much lesser?
Lets start with Drew. If we sign him we have to trade a starter. Will there be enough playing time for Will however? After the signing of Napoli, the only way I see us keeping Middlebrooks is if we start the season with Bogaerts in AAA or we try and make Middlebrooks a supersub and he see's action in the out field. Both are possible and both make some sense. But both unlikely. Middlebrooks likely gets traded. And is that smart selling low?
If we sign Drew, for how long? I see a 1-14 deal being very possible. One thing I hope if we resign Drew is that we don't give any promises about not giving the QO. We could then get the first round compensation next year. BTW, we probably have a 50-50 chance of getting compensation for Napoli since he will still only be 33 at the end of his deal. We still might someday see those picks, they just might be delayed.
Next is the question of Bogaerts position. Which is his best position? They say SS, but you never know if people are telling the truth. And if its SS, is it smart to stunt his defensive growth, even for a year? Its a debatable topic. If Bogaerts is best suited at 3rd base, then signing Drew long term is not only possible, but might be called for since our next SS in line is probably 2-3 years away.
Finally is the question of a major injury. I think they force Cecchini up no matter who gets injured. His proffesional hitting approach likely makes him acceptable.
But my main point is not really about if we sign Drew, but if we don't. Then what? A bunch of things to consider. First is what side of the plate for the SS to hit from? Since Pedroia, Bogaerts and Middlebrooks are all righties, a lefty SS is the obvious choice. This way you can rest each guy 5-15 games against righties and get potentially a lefty player of equal production to replace them.
Second is the concern of a major fail. What if Middlebrooks mentally collapses with the bat? Or what if Bogaerts is simply unacceptable at SS defensively? Both are possible even though I like both players more then most. Its still possible. Then what? What if Bogaerts gets injured aswell? Doesn't the backup have to have SS starter potential? Who do they have in the minors? Holt is mostly a second baseman and he kind of sucks. Menses is not an option is he? And Merrero is a guy I really like, but he is 2 years away atleast isn't he?
In free agency are Barmes, Santiago or McDonald really options? Both Barmes and Santiago have put up below 600 OPS each of the last two seasons and both are getting very old. And Barmes and McDonald hits righty. I don't see any real options in free agency that fits.
I think if we don't sign Drew then we need to trade for a lefty hitting SS that could start if he had too. I think Gregorious is a possibility. Arizona is open to trading him because they have another SS they like even more. They are looking for a veteran starting pitcher. Also Peavy used to pitch in Arizona, just sayin.
Gregorious is a lefty. His defense is good. He had a 704 OPS and 332 OB% last year with a reasonable 290 BABIP. He has an extreme split hitting 773 OPS against righties. He is also from the Netherlands so he might be friends with Bogaerts, which might help him accept a backup role. And since are next SS is at least 2 years away he could be around for at least that long.
If we don't sign Drew, I think it would be extremely dangerous to not find a decent SS. Prefferably left handed.