Marlins showing interest in Will Middlebrooks

Gail Oskin

Will Middlebrooks is coming off a terrible 2013 campaign, but that hasn't kept teams from pursuing the young third baseman.

There's been some interest in Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks this offseason, with the Marlins the most persistent suitor according to Nick Cafardo:

Teams ask about Middlebrooks, but the Red Sox haven't pulled the trigger, feeling Middlebooks has power and they'd hate to lose that. The Marlins have asked a lot about Middlebrooks, but there's no clear match unless it's part of a Giancarlo Stanton deal, which isn't happening.

Cafardo mentions this in asserting that the Red Sox would retain Middlebrooks even if they were to re-sign shortstop Stephen Drew, whose ultimate destination is no more clear today than it was on day one of free agency. The draft pick attached to his price tag by Boston's qualifying offer has proven a deal breaker.

"Power" has quietly become a buzzword in Boston's front office, it seems. We heard it first with their reticence to trade Mike Carp, and now again with Will Middlebrooks. Perhaps David Ortiz' injury in 2012 has made them suddenly conscious of the eventual need for a replacement. Or perhaps they're just focusing in on what they expect to be a rare commodity in the years to come.

Whatever the case, there's little indication that the Red Sox are about to act on any such offers, or to bring Stephen Drew back for that matter. Aside from minor league signings, the team has been entirely dormant, seemingly ready for spring training to start and the season to get underway. Certainly nothing so seismic as a Stanton trade has even been hinted at, and when even Nick Cafardo is waving that off as a fantasy, that tells you something. The interest is there for Will Middlebrooks, even after his awful 2013 performance, but the Red Sox are apparently going to put their money on his sophomore slump being an outlier, at least for now.

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