5 shortstop options for Red Sox after unexpected Trevor Story surgery

Oct 22, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Ha-Seong Kim (7) catches a fly ball in the sixth inning during game four of the NLCS against the Philadelphia Phillies for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 22, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Ha-Seong Kim (7) catches a fly ball in the sixth inning during game four of the NLCS against the Philadelphia Phillies for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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On Tuesday, the Boston Red Sox announced Trevor Story underwent elbow surgery that will sideline him for a portion of the 2023 season. The expected recovery time is 4-6 months, which has Story coming back between April and June. Regardless of when he’s able to return, the Red Sox should be seeking a new shortstop for the 2023 season.

Currently on the roster, Christian Arroyo should be slotted in at second. He’s seen little time at shortstop, and moving him there would be a worst-case scenario. Kiké Hernandez was likely to play CF, but he may be able to handle short if needed. Doing so would create a void in the outfield, however.

Other options include rushing Ceddanne Rafaela or Enmanuel Valdez to the majors, but don’t bank on that happening. The best move would be for the Red Sox to seek a replacement outside of the organization.

If the Red Sox seek external options, there are two paths. They could add a veteran on a one-year deal to fill in while Story’s out or they could add a middle infielder who could play alongside Story once he’s back, pushing Story back to second base to save his arm.

Who’s out there that could potentially be of interest to Boston?

5. Jose Iglesias

The Red Sox have tried Jose Iglesias on two separate stints, and both times it worked pretty well. I During his time in Boston, Iglesias has hit .293/.346/.382 with a 98 OPS+ in 121 games. He most recently stopped in Boston for 23 games in 2021 and posted a .915 OPS.But oOutside of Boston he hasn’t been as good. Most recently with the Rockies in 2022, Iglesias slashed .292/.328/.380 with a 90 OPS+ and 0 OAA. Not bad, but still below his Sox output.

The 33-year-old Iglesias has been a journeyman for the past few years, but he’s held a starting job. He has flashes of hot streaks with his bat and then tends to go cold. This was the case in 2022 when he held a .781 OPS in his first 96 games and a .391 OPS in his last 22 games. The up-and-down waves make it hard to trust Iglesias over a full season, but he could be a fine candidate to replace Story for a couple months.

There may also be something to read into the way he plays in Boston. Iglesias was signed and raised by the Red Sox, and he hasn’t been the same anywhere else. He showed flashes in 2015 and 2020, but he’s never found sustained success anywhere. A one-year deal for a third stint in Boston could be a fitting reunion for both sides.

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