As the trade rumors continue to swirl, a name that keeps popping up is Will Middlebrooks. The Chicago White Sox are said to be interested in the third baseman in a possible deal for starting pitcher Jake Peavy. With Jose Iglesias filling in capably at third and uber-prospect Xander Bogaerts waiting in the wings are the Red Sox ready to part ways with Will?
Obviously the Red Sox are disappointed with Middlebrooks. Boston expected a lot more than they got from a player they thought would produce in the number five slot. Middlebrooks was sent to Pawtucket after hitting .192 with 60 strikeouts in 53 games this year.
Since being demoted, Middlebrooks has been up and down. He's currently hitting a solid .310 for the PawSox, but Red Sox management does not seem impressed. Manager John Farrell said, "Can't say that it's too different than what we saw here. He's had some games where he's swung the bat very well. There's been some games where the inconsistencies emerge."
Middlebrooks has shown he has the talent and the power to play in the big leagues. Given that Middlebrooks is not dominating minor league pitching, and Farrell unimpressed, one wonders if Will is a prime suspect to be traded before the July 31 deadline.
Is Middlebroooks a bust? It's tough to say. Is a trade imminent? It could happen. However, it is a bit ironic that it was Middlebrooks stellar play last season that got fan favorite Kevin Youkilis shipped to Chicago. Middlebrooks best contribution this season may be in changing the color of his Sox in a trade for Jake Peavy.