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Ben Cherington: Red Sox ‘[keeping] an eye out’ in third base, bullpen markets

07.02.13 at 9:40 am ET

With the July 31 deadline for non-waiver trades now less than a month away, the Red Sox are clearly in position to be buyers given that, at 50-34, they own the best record in the American League. Red Sox GM Ben Cherington suggested that two areas of roster instability this year are at the top of the team’s priority list as the deadline nears, though he also noted that the team may not have to go outside the organization to address either.

“We’ve had some turnover at [third base] and in [the bullpen],” Cherington wrote in an email, “but right now we believe there is a good chance the solutions are internal. We’ll keep an eye out in these areas and any other that crops up between now and the deadline.”

While the Sox struggled with their production at third base while Will Middlebrooks struggled, the team has more recently enjoyed positive production from Jose Iglesias. Still, given the disparity between Iglesias’ track record and his recent big league performance, the Sox may wish to find trade candidates with more proven track records as a fallback at the position, even as the team feels that between Middlebrooks, Iglesias and top prospect Xander Bogaerts, the team has the personnel to get good production at the position even without a change.

As for the bullpen, the Sox appear focused on adding depth to their relief corps rather than feeling a compulsion to acquire a closer. That depth, however, could also arrive internally. Foremost, the Sox are hopeful that they can get Andrew Bailey back to the point of being a key bullpen contributor. Beyond him, the team is: a) trying to gauge what Alex Wilson might contribute; b) intrigued by the ability of PawSox reliever Jose De La Torre to dominate right-handers and c) open to the notion of seeing what current PawSox rotation members Alfredo Aceves, Rubby De La Rosa and Brandon Workman can do out of the bullpen (even though there are no immediate plans to move any of those pitchers to the ‘pen).

For more on the Sox’ outlook as the trade deadline comes into view, click here.

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