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Sox Looking for Another Shortstop, Beckett in the Clubhouse and More Sox Notes

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The Globe's Peter Abraham posted a blog entry tonight and he's got a few interesting snippets contained within it.

It seems the Red Sox are looking for a backup shortstop. Or, at least, a body that can play shortstop decently in case problems arise with Marco Scutaro:

* Our Nick Cafardo keeps hearing that the Red Sox are looking under every rock for a shortstop, if only to have some depth at the position. Reporters have literally not seen Jed Lowrie since March 11. His illness, which proved to be mono, has knocked him way out of the team's plans. Jed Clampett has a better chance of getting in a game at this point.

I forgot about Lowrie. I really did. Kind of sad, huh? Nevertheless, he's not winning a job out of spring training anyway. I'm sure the Red Sox wished right now Tug Hulett could play some shortstop, but the best he's going to give the Sox is some second base depth. Hulett has played 95 games at shortstop in his minor league career, but it seems obvious that he wouldn't be able to do much there at the big league level. A stopgap, sure, but probably nothing more. (Just in case you forgot, the Dodgers signed Nick Green.)

Abraham also dropped a few lines about Josh Beckett:

* I kept hearing I wouldn't like Josh Beckett. But I kind of do. I'll say this for him: Other than Tim Wakefield, I don't think any other pitcher on the staff takes as much time to hang with the position players as he does. The Sox have to take the emotions out of their decision whether to sign him to an extension. But make no mistake, Beckett is as much a leader of that team as anybody in that clubhouse.

I'm curious why Abraham, or any member of the media, wouldn't like Beckett. Has anyone heard of off-the-field and in-the-clubhouse problems with Beckett? If there are problems, I don't think they've ever squeaked out from the media. (Which brings up a good point: if the relationship between Beckett and the Sox starts to fizzle, do you think we'd see some, "One time Beckett did this..."? Of course.)

For some reason, I really don't see the Red Sox re-signing Beckett. Obviously a lot depends on how Beckett performs this year, but I'd put it at 35 percent the Sox re-sign Beckett. This could change with one great season, but so will his price tag. This is all for another post on another day, but paint my skeptical at the moment that Beckett will be back. He's going to want more years than the Sox want to dish out and I just envision another moment where the Sox say, "OK, moving on."

I'll stop myself now from getting ahead of myself. Is it the regular season yet?