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Pedroia to play shortstop for Red Sox in 2010?

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If I had kids, I’d let them play around this year’s Hot Stove.

Since nothing of significance has happened this offseason, the country’s baseball analysts have become nothing but rumormongers: “The [insert team name here] have shown interest in [insert 2010 big-time free agent here].”

Rinse, wash, and repeat for the 29 other Major League Baseball teams and voila! you’ve got yourself a newsday.

But that’s not to say there aren’t some gems amidst the rubble. Today, the reputable Peter Gammons revealed that Dustin Pedroia is “all for” a switch to shortstop, the position he played at Arizona State University and in the Red Sox minor league system.

For Theo Epstein and the Red Sox, moving Pedroia to shortstop makes an incredible amount of sense. The market for everyday shortstops hasn’t developed, with Marco Scutaro and Miguel Tejada considered the highlights. If it were 2002, “highlights” would be the operative term here, but in 2008, it pretty much means “the only guys who aren’t terrible.”

But the second base market is much deeper, peppered with former All-Stars like Orlando Hudson and Placido Polanco and serviceable, everyday bats like Ronnie Belliard, Mark DeRosa and Felipe Lopez.

And while none of these options likely provide the Red Sox with future stability, the drastic realignment will shore up the rotating door of ineffective stopgap shortstops the Red Sox have become a laughingstock for trotting out. Since the departure of Nomar Garciaparra in 2004, the Red Sox have used 19 different players to plug the hole, none of them particularly effective or successful.

Nineteen!

Pedroia hasn’t played shortstop since 2006, so this proposed transition obviously wouldn’t be seamless. Still, in 184 games at shortstop during his minor league tenure, he committed just seven errors. And at Arizona State University, he was an All-American.

What’s your take on the situation?

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