What are the Red Sox planning at shortstop?

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By declining Alex Gonzalez’s option for next season the Red Sox moved Jed Lowrie back atop their shortstop depth chart for now, but Peter Gammons of ESPN.com reports that “it is clear they want Lowrie to play at Pawtucket, make up for what amounts to a lost season, and prove that his wrist will hold up.”
Gammons speculates that the Red Sox could look to re-sign Gonzalez for less than the $6 million option, go after another low-cost, short-term veteran like Omar Vizquel, or perhaps make a serious run at free agent Marco Scutaro, although his Type A status would cost them a first-round draft pick.
Prior to his wrist injury Lowrie had emerged as the Red Sox’s starting shortstop after hitting .258/.339/.400 with good defense as a 24-year-old rookie in 2008, but he appeared in just 32 games this season while batting .147. Counting on him to be the full-time starter again in 2010 is perhaps more of a risk than the Red Sox are willing to take, but clearly if he’s healthy Lowrie won’t be at Triple-A or on the bench for long.
All of which makes me think that they’ll go short term (Gonzalez, Vizquel, etc.) rather than make a multi-year commitment to someone like Scutaro. Of course, if reports about the Red Sox’s interest in J.J. Hardy are accurate they were certainly willing to make a multi-year commitment to him at shortstop. Boston reportedly offered Michael Bowden to Milwaukee in exchange for Hardy, but balked when the counteroffer was Clay Buchholz or Daniel Bard. Hardy ended up being dealt to Minnesota for Carlos Gomez.

White Sox won’t make bid for Bryce Harper

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The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.

Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.

Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.

The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.