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August 1, 2013

Bogaerts, Middlebrooks will get their chances for Red Sox

The Jake Peavy Era in Boston will begin when the right-handed starter rolls into town today and the Xander Bogaerts Era in Boston might not be too far behind.

By shipping Jose Iglesias to Detroit in the Peavy trade, the Red Sox created an immediate hole at third base and opened a golden opportunity for Bogaerts or Will Middlebrooks to win that position at some point here in August.

“(Bogaerts) is part of a group in Pawtucket that includes a number of guys that we probably will need to rely on the rest of the year,” Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said. “I’m not going to single him out over anybody else. It’s not about who the best prospect is. It’s about who the best player is to help us win.”

That said, Bogaerts — who Baseball America recently ranked baseball’s fourth best professional prospect — is not only the best prospect in the Red Sox system, but he also is the best player right now among all the third base candidates.

Brandon Snyder and Brock Holt are platooning at third base for the time being. They both have done admirably in limited roles with Boston this summer. But they are short-term solutions to give Middlebrooks and Bogaerts a little extra time in Triple-A Pawtucket to work on their games. Either Middlebrooks or Bogaerts, or possibly both, should be with the big league club by the middle of this month.

The Red Sox never engaged in serious trade talks with any team regarding a right-handed hitting third baseman such as Philadelphia’s Michael Young.

“I feel like we can figure that out within the organization,” Cherington said about third base. “Right now, obviously Holt and Snyder are here. Both those guys have done a good job for us. We’ve got some other guys in Pawtucket that could help as time goes on. So we’ll just see how it all plays out.”

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