Iglesias in majors could have domino effect

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Iglesias in majors could have domino effect

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- While the Red Sox internally debate the wisdom of opening the season with Jose Iglesias as their starting shortstop, another question looms in the background:

If Iglesias begins the 2011 season as the starter, what becomes of Mike Aviles?

All along, it was presumed that Aviles would be the choice and that he would hold down the position at least for the first couple of months. But Valentine's evaluation of Iglesias has changed the dynamic.

Iglesias's athleticism, range and instincts have convinced Valentine that he -- and not Aviles -- should be the regular.

Such a move has its risks, but it also leaves Aviles without a regular position and leaves the Red Sox, for the time being, with two utility infielders -- Aviles and Nick Punto.

Punto was signed to a two-year deal last winter to provide depth and experience in the infield. But though Aviles is a much better offensive player, the Sox would find themselves with some duplication.

From a sheer numbers perspective, the Sox could carry all three infielders -- Iglesias, Aviles and Punto -- on the roster for the first few weeks as outfielder Carl Crawford recovers from wrist surgery.

But when Crawford returns, the Sox would have 14 position players. It's doubtful that Valentine would want to limit himself to an 11-man pitching staff, especially with so many question marks surrounding the staff.

Even if the Sox worked in some outfield play for Aviles -- and remember, they sent him to play winter ball in Puerto Rico with the idea that he could perhaps contribute in right -- they would have hard a time justifying having Aviles on the roster.

The Sox signed Cody Ross as a righthanded-hitting outfielder and envision him playing much of the time in right.

Boston could shop either Punto or Aviles, but each scenario has some drawbacks.

Because Punto is a newly signed free agent, he would have to give permission to be dealt elsewhere before June 15. Having liked Boston enough to commit to a two-year deal -- rare for a role player -- that permission might not be forthcoming.

The Sox could also deal Aviles to a team looking for infield depth. The Milwaukee Brewers are one such team looked for some insurance in the middle of the infield. His 1.2 million salary would not be an obstacle in getting a deal done.

However, the Sox need to ask themselves what would happen if they dealt Aviles and Iglesias then flopped or got injured. That would leave them with only Punto as an everyday answer, and while the journeyman is a fine player coming off the bench, he is hardly an everyday shortstop for a contender.

Finally, there would be this to consider: for a team which has had a veritable revolving door at shortstop since it traded away Nomar Garciaparra in July of 2004, the Sox could claim the distinction of having traded three shortstops -- Jed Lowrie, Marco Scutaro and Mike Aviles -- in the same off-season.

Clearly, there will be plenty of repercussions if Iglesias wins the shortstop competition. Determining what to do with the player who lost out to him is only one of many.

McQuaid on going in the NHL expansion draft: ‘I hope that’s not the case for me’

McQuaid on going in the NHL expansion draft: ‘I hope that’s not the case for me’

BOSTON – With the NHL expansion draft looming a couple of months in the future, it became much more of a reality for the Bruins this week now that the 2016-17 season is in the books.

Bruins GM Don Sweeney said on Thursday that he expects the Bruins to go the 7 (forwards) 3 (defensemen) 1 (goaltender) route protecting their roster from the June 21 expansion draft. That will still leave some useful roster players unprotected.

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Atop that available expansion list for the Bruins will be potential names Malcolm Subban, Riley Nash, Jimmy Hayes and Adam McQuaid, who could be headed to Vegas. Asked about the topic at this week’s breakup day for the players, McQuaid expressed his hopes that he isn’t the one selected by the Vegas Golden Knights. The 30-year-old McQuaid stayed healthy enough to play in 77 games this season, and posted two goals and 10 points along with a plus-4 while serving in a top-four role pretty much all season as Torey Krug’s defensive partner.

McQuaid also brought the toughness and quiet leadership element with his willingness to always stand up for his teammates and go toe-to-toe with the toughest guys in the league when it was called for. His midseason heavyweight bout with Matt Martin was one of the most memorable moments of the season. It’s an element the Bruins would miss if he was taken in the expansion draft.  

“Well, I hope not. I never thought of it that way, to be honest with you. Obviously, the reality of the situation is they’re picking somebody from every team,” said McQuaid. “So, I hope that’s not the case for me. I’ve won here and I’ve always said how much I love it back here. I can’t imagine playing for another team. It’s totally out of my control, but hopefully that’s not the case.”

McQuaid is signed for $2.75 million for the next seasons and it was clear he was missed on the penalty kill once he went down injured in the first-round series against the Ottawa Senators. As for the entire expansion process, Sweeney said they are currently whittling down the protected list while required to protect Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and David Backes to start by virtue of the no-movement language in their contracts.

Other young players, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo and Frank Vatrano among others, don’t need to be protected either after completing this season with two years or less of pro hockey experience. One of the most difficult decisions will come down to protecting either 25-year-old Colin Miller or 28-year-old Kevan Miller as the third defensemen. 

Whichever one of those D-men is left unprotected would join McQuaid as the most likely player to be selected by Vegas GM George McPhee after he spent a decent amount of time scouting the Black and Gold this season to get an idea of which player he wanted.

Here’s our best guess at which players will end up being protected by the Bruins:

Forwards (7): Bergeron, Krejci, Backes, Pastrnak, Marchand, Beleskey and Spooner

Defensemen (3): Chara, Krug and Colin Miller

Goaltender (1): Rask 


 

Brady’s pre-draft Facebook post tries to provide some inspiration to picks

Brady’s pre-draft Facebook post tries to provide some inspiration to picks

Pick No. 199 in 2000 tried to provide a little inspiration to the next generation of NFL draftees before the first selection Thursday night. 

Remember: they can't measure heart. Whether you're picked first, last or not at all, YOU decide what happens next, every day. Good luck!!!

Posted by Tom Brady on Thursday, April 27, 2017