September 30, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones (10) is out at second base as Boston Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias (58) starts the double play in the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Near the Edge of the Cliff: What does the future hold for Jose Iglesias?

With the recent signing (pending a physical) of Stephen Drew, it seems like Jose Iglesias will begin the 2013 season with Triple A Pawtucket. This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to a significant percentage of Red Sox fans. Iglesias only hit .118/.200/.191/.391 with one home run in 77 plate appearances in 2012. Though there’s a really good chance the lineup will be a very productive one in 2013, it would still be a big gamble to plug Iglesias in there. Even more so in case the likes of Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino put up numbers that resemble their 2012 versions rather than their stellar 2011 performances. Plus given the club’s decent track record of one-year deals working out for the better, the Drew signing should be a solid one.

At this stage, Iglesias seems to be at the edge of a cliff (metaphorically speaking). Simply moving forward from the edge presents Iglesias with a rocky road. Xander Bogaerts is close to surpassing him on the depth chart. There’s also high ceiling prospects not far behind in Tzu-Wei Lin, Jose Vinicio, and Deven Marrero. This will be the last season where Iglesias can be optioned to the minors while remaining on the 40 man roster. If he doesn’t improve his bat, he will likely be removed from the roster at season’s end, effectively falling off the cliff.

In a recent article for the Boston Globe, Tony Massarotti pondered whether the Red Sox should keep Iglesias or package him in a trade. In his recent mailbag, Nick Cafardo stated that Iglesias has always been available, but nobody’s really offered a decent return. That was until a recent article from NESN.com that stated the Pittsburgh Pirates might have interest. In his recent post, Conor Duffy mentioned that the Red Sox and Pirates have been discussing a trade involving closer Joel Hanrahan. Perhaps Iglesias could be included in such a deal.

What does the future hold for Jose Iglesias? That’s anybody’s guess. If he isn’t traded, he’ll be with the organization for at least one more season. If the bat doesn’t improve, he’ll likely fall of that cliff. But his awesome glove could provide a soft landing, so to speak. Perhaps landing a cozy gig as a starter or backup for a small market team.

Tags: Boston Red Sox Jose Iglesias

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