DALLAS -- The Red Sox have a surplus of infielders -- and don't think other teams haven't noticed.
A baseball source said the Sox have had "lots of interest" on both Mike Aviles and Jed Lowrie and could deal one or the other to fill a need.
The Sox picked up Marco Scutaro's team option after the end of the season and envision him being the regular shortstop in 2012. They also have prospect Jose Iglesias at Pawtucket and project that he might need only another half season at Triple-A before being able to contribute to the big league roster.
That leaves either Lowrie or Aviles as a spare, tradable part.
Of the two, Lowrie is thought to have more value. First, he's a more dependable shortstop. Second, he's a switch-hitter.
Lowrie was a sandwich pick out of Stanford in 2005, but has seen his career slowed by injuries. Over the last three seasons, he's dealt with a hand injury which required surgery, mononucleosis and a shoulder injury suffered last May.
But he has the ability to drive the ball, as he demonstrated at the end of 2010 and the first two months of last season. That, plus his versatility and affordability, make his an attractive commodity for teams searching for either a starting infielder or someone who could fill a utility role.
Aviles, obtained from the Kansas City Royals at the July 31 deadline last summer, was the Royals' starting shortstop for much of 2008 but underwent Tommy John surgery the following year and was moved into more of a utility role in Kansas City before coming to the Sox.
Some scouts believe he could play an adequate shortstop in the big leagues while others believe he'd be more useful as a super utility player, able to contribute at three infield spots and perhaps even the outfield.
Aviles also hits lefthanded pitching well, compiling an .814 career OPS against lefties.