Tyler Saladino is not the answer. The Sox have no human being on their roster that is capable of playing shortstop. Even if they thought Saladino was capable, they would’ve come out and said so…but they haven’t. They won’t until all of their options are exhausted, at which point they’ll put Saladino on a pedestal.
Saladino, in his 11 games that he played at shortstop last year, was subpar in every defensive metric. And we know it’s not his thunderous stick that’s going to keep him in the lineup. So what to do?
Ian Desmond is an option. Not a great one, but better than nothing. The Sox have clearly gone the route of patchwork using free agency, so why not sign Desmond? He’s at least a positive WAR player and comes out around the league average in defensive metrics. He also provides 20 home run power. That would mean every position in your infield has the potential to provide 20 home runs (though for Lawrie it would be a career best).
Maybe Adam LaRoche decides to hit the baseball again and you have yourself a pure softball team. That’s better than Tyler Saladino at shortstop. Not the way I would construct a team, but there is a legitimate argument to be made for the Sox to gather as many home run hitters as possible in one of the league’s most homer friendly ballparks.