Will Middlebrooks trade rumors: Marlins continue their pursuit

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Boston would need to be blown away to consider moving the third baseman.

The Marlins remain interested in acquiring Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Boston appears to be content to hang on to Middlebrooks, even if they re-sign infielder Stephen Drew.

More: Spring training reporting dates Grapefruit Cactus

Miami has "asked a lot" about the 25-year-old, but Boston doesn't seem to be willing to risk the loss of his power potential. Middlebrooks has already hit 32 home runs in just 169 career games with the team, and he's posted solid a slugging percentage in the high minors as well.

Cafardo suggests that a Middlebrooks trade is highly unlikely "unless it's part of a Giancarlo Stanton deal, which isn't happening."

Last season, Middlebrooks struggled to find consistency in the batter's box, hitting just .227/.271/.425 in 348 plate appearances. However, he still managed to hit 17 homers, and was much better after a mid-season demotion to the minors helped him fix his approach, so the Sox will likely keep him around, possibly moving him across the diamond to first to make use of his power. Projected shortstop Xander Bogaerts could move back to third in those instances if the team brings back Stephen Drew.

MLB Depth Charts currently has free agent signing Casey McGehee listed as the Marlins starting third baseman. Ed Lucas, Donovan Solano, and Greg Dobbs are listed as the team's bench options to fill the position.

They recently signed veteran infielder Ty Wigginton to a minor league deal as well, and could call up Jimmy Paredes or former Cardinals prospect Zack Cox at some point during the 2014 season.

The Marlins are likely to use a mixture of players to man third until Colin Moran, their sixth overall pick from last year's draft, is ready to contribute at the major league level.

Moran, 21, finished the 2013 season with the team's Single-A affiliate, the Greensboro Grasshoppers, in the South Atlantic League.

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