The injury to all-star Jacoby Ellsbury has left the Red Sox reeling about what is now a mediocre outfield, one that many feel is well below average and could hurt the Sox from a defensive standpoint. Cody Ross, Darnell McDonald and Ryan Sweeney are now the everyday starters to occupy the three outfield positions, a far cry from a year ago that had Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford and J.D. Drew shagging flyballs.
Because of this, the Sox are now actively seeking to improve their outfield via the trade market reports Alex Speier of WEEI.com. But this early in the season provides little for trade bait from other clubs and the pickings are slim says Speier.
One interesting name that is floating around as a potential target is former Red Sox, Coco Crisp, now playing in Oakland. When the A’s signed Yoenis Cespedes as a free-agent, that meant the end for Crisp in center field where he is best suited talent wise. Coincidentally, the Sox aren’t completely comfortable with Cody Ross occupying center in Ellsbury’s absence.
Remember back to last season’s trade deadline when the Red Sox and A’s had a deal in place to send Rich Harden to Boston in exchange for a package of prospects that included former first baseman, now transformed outfielder Lars Anderson. Speier states that the A’s are high on numerous prospects that the Red Sox have, making trade talks a good possibility. Given the two clubs hooked up to complete the Andrew Bailey deal this winter along with the talks that involved Gio Gonzalez and it’s safe to say that Ben Cherington and Billy Beane are comfortable with each other.
The Cubs have also been rumored to be a potential trading partner for outfielder Marlon Byrd. It’s been reported for some time that Byrd could be shopped and it was said that he was of interest to the Nationals for pitcher John Lannan, but the talks don’t seem to have much traction. The 34-year old has a career .279 average with an OBP of .338. He’s making $6.5M this season and given how Theo Epstein negotiates, this could be slippery slope for Cherington as he hasn’t done well when discussing players to swap with his former boss.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, via Twitter, says that Scott Podsednik of the Phillies could be had sooner than either Crisp or Byrd, given his minor league deal with Philly, a deal they would likely allow Podsednik out of if it meant a major league chance for the 36-year old veteran.
Carl Crawford is set to start participating in extended spring training games in Florida, meaning he could be available by mid-May. If the Sox can keep pace until then, a deal may not be imminent to add an outfielder. Given how Cody Ross misplayed a couple of flyballs on Sunday afternoon, going after Crisp might be the best solution.
Should the Red Sox try and acquire an outfielder? Leave your comments and let’s discuss.
Tags: Andrew Bailey Boston Red Sox Carl Crawford Coco Crisp Cody Ross Darnell McDonald Gio Gonzalez J. D. Drew Jacoby Ellsbury John Lannan Lars Anderson Marlon Byrd Rich Harden Ryan Sweeney Scott Podsednik Yoenis Cespedes