Sports

Middlebrooks, Bogaerts give Red Sox options at third base

Will Middlebrooks (right) is spending his offseason in Boston, including some time with teammate David Ortiz, and realizes 2014 is an important year in his career.
Will Middlebrooks (right) is spending his offseason in Boston, including some time with teammate David Ortiz, and realizes 2014 is an important year in his career.matt slocum/associated press

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Will Middlebrooks is spending the offseason in Boston, close to Fenway Park and Mike Boyle’s training center. Middlebrooks wants to reclaim the Red Sox’ third base job that seemed destined for him just a year ago when he drew raves for his middle-of-the-order power.

Middlebrooks’s future may be in the hands of general manager Ben Cherington, who could opt to shift Xander Bogaerts to third if he acquires a veteran shortstop or re-signs Stephen Drew. And don’t forget third base prospect Garin Cecchini, who hit a combined .322 at Single A Salem and Double A Portland this past season.

Cherington believes the position could wind up being the Sox’ biggest strength. “We think, if we do nothing, we’ll get more out of third base than we did this year,” he said.

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