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Cherington stressed the last few days that this roster is far from complete. It could go in a number of different directions, including at shortstop, as the Sox could sign free agent Stephen Drew or trade for Cleveland’s Asdrubal Cabrera.
The emphasis clearly was on improving the offense — power, on-base percentage, runs. And then hope the defense doesn’t bite you. Which is why you need backups who are strong defenders.
The Sox seem stronger up the middle with Ross behind the plate, Dustin Pedroia and Jose Iglesias in the middle infield, and Jacoby Ellsbury in center, even if his arm is a negative. The Sox have a great internal debate over whether they can carry a weak-hitting shortstop, which is why they continue to explore Drew and Cabrera.
There’s always been that feeling that an American League lineup must have a shortstop who can hit and field. Iglesias is extraordinary defensively, he has the ability to be the best defensive shortstop in the game.
So if you’re giving up defense in left field and first base, you have to have it up the middle, don’t you?
The pieces are falling into place. You can’t have everything, but the Sox got their power.