Five Leftfield Targets for Red Sox
Trading Carl Crawford to the Dodgers was a major coup for Red Sox GM Ben Cherington but it did create a hole in leftfield that Boston needs to fill this off-season.
And how Cherington addresses this need will tell you a lot about what he thinks of his team.
If Boston opts for Ryan Kalish or even Ryan Sweeney in left, that’s a signal Cherington is off on a two or three year rebuilding program.
If the Red Sox add a proven big-league bat that says Cherington wants his team back in the hunt in 2013.
Here are five leftfield targets for the Red Sox to consider:
- Jason Kubel. Arizona has a surplus of outfielders, particularly with minor leaguers Adam Eaton and A.J. Pollock knocking on the big league door. While everyone speculates that Justin Upton is headed out of Phoenix, he may have just too much talent to deal. Kubel had a good year for the D’Backs but he may be someone the team considers trading to open up a spot for the rookies.
- Melky Cabrera. This season’s PED poster child could turn into a bargain free agent. The question: Does Cabrera’s drug past drop make him a bargain player on the market? Ryan Braun’s numbers did not drop after being connected with PEDs the previous season (technicality aside). This blog thinks Cabrera will attract a number of offers with teams hoping the same thing happens with him. Boston has the money to step up in free agency. It will be interesting to see whether they pursue Cabrera.
- Delmon Young. Another free agent, Young has been a player who delivers short of his perceived potential. Still his power numbers (18 HRs, 74 RBIs in 2012) represent an upgrade over what Boston currently has. On a short-term deal (one or two years), Young could be an attractive leftfield option.
- Alex Gordon. Super prospect Wil Myers has got to play somewhere for Kansas City next season. Jeff Francoeur doesn’t have a contract that lends itself well on the trade market. Gordon is moving to big bucks territory ($9 million in 2013). He could go for pitching – opening a spot for Myers.
- Mike Cuddyer. If he can bounce back from injury, Cuddyer could provide righthanded power in left. He has two years remaining (at $10.5 million/year) on his Rockies’ contract. With Colorado back to building for the future, he is likely trade bait in some type of salary dump.
Others on the list: Josh Hamilton (some team is likely to go long-term contract at top dollar, don’t see that being Boston), Shane Victorino (likely too pricey for what he delivers), Josh Willingham (don’t see the Twins moving him – but worth checking out), Alfonso Soriano (too old – pass).
Who do you think the Red Sox should play in leftfield in 2013?