Source: Lowrie, Aviles drawing 'lots of interest'

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Source: Lowrie, Aviles drawing 'lots of interest'

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.

Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

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Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

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Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.