It’d be a tough sell to use this space to inspire Red Sox fans to storm the gates of Fenway Park to protest the trading of Deven Marrero to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Look, I get it: Marrero was pretty much a backup-to-the-backup infielder whose bank account was devoid of minor league options. He is a former first-round pick who, in parts of three seasons in the big leagues, has appeared in just 109 games, mostly at third base but also at second and shortstop. He played a couple of innings at first base, and has been a DH.

In 236 big league at-bats, Marrero’s batting average is .208.

He’s a very good defensive player is what he is. You can plant him anywhere and then sit down and relax. That makes him valuable. Alas, it also made him trade bait, what with the out-of-options thing and all.

Deven Marrero wasn’t likely to be the everyday anything for the Red Sox any time soon. Life goes on. Except that when I look at this team’s infield I see Stonehenge: Large, immovable objects that are equidistant from each other. The Red Sox infield is the impolite topic nobody wants to talk about.

Why should we? Hey, rookie manager Alex Cora has everyone hustling and happy. There’s an expectation that the youngins – Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts, Christian Vazquez, Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers – will put up better offensive numbers this season. Closer Craig Kimbrel is back in camp, though keeping a watchful eye on the health of his infant daughter. And even though there are some questions about the Nos. 4 and 5 spots in the starting rotation, most people believe Chris Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello will give Boston one of the game’s best front threes.


But then there’s that infield – Devers at third, Bogaerts at short, Eduardo Nunez at second, and, I guess, Hanley Ramirez at first.

To look at that infield is to be reminded of a comment made back in the day by former NBA coach Del Harris. After his Houston Rockets opened the 1982-83 season with 10 consecutive losses, he famously said, “All of our players belong in the NBA. I’m just not sure they all belong on the same team.”


Devers, Bogaerts, Nunez and Ramirez absolutely belong in the big leagues. I’m just not sure they all belong in the same Red Sox infield.

Devers? He is young and he is raw. Despite thunderous praise from former Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, a stellar performer at the hot corner who worked with the kid for a couple of days last month, Devers has a lot to learn.

Bogaerts? I speak to you as Jor-El from the planet Krypton, my warnings about the planet’s impending doom going unheeded. Like a lot of people, I believe the ever-pleasant and accommodating Bogaerts is going to turn it around this season and put up some big numbers. But he remains an average-at-best defensive shortstop.


Nunez? In fairness, he’s minding the shop at second base until veteran Dustin Pedroia, a four-time Gold Glove winner and possible future Hall of Famer, returns following an offseason procedure to have the cartilage in his left knee re-wallpapered. The problem, of course, is that Nunez is returning after going down with an injury to his right knee late last season. He had been playing superbly for the Sox and was being touted as a fine pickup from the Giants by president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. But then came the injury, followed by an attempt to rush him back for the in-over-their-heads AL Division Series against the Houston Astros. Nunez lasted just one swing of the bat before crumbling to the ground after hitting a grounder. Now he’s the temporary everyday second baseman, and we’ll see.

Ramirez? The Red Sox have a defensively solid first baseman in Mitch Moreland, but it appears Cora wants to see a lot of Ramirez here because, one assumes, he’ll hit more. But he’s going to hurt the Red Sox on defense. True, he made the move to first base two years ago and wasn’t nearly as bad as a lot of people (myself among them) thought he would be. But somehow the narrative turned into Ramirez being “very good” at the position, which he was not and is not.

Put it all together and we are here: All of these fine ballplayers belong in the big leagues, but they don’t belong in the same infield.

And, yeah, I kinda wished they’d held onto Deven Marrero.

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