With both Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford progressing nicely in their rehab stints in the minor league levels, it won’t be long until the Red Sox have a plethora of outfielders and not enough room to hold them all.
While many fans would like to see Crawford shipped out of Boston, it isn’t happening, at least not this year. We’ve already seen Darnell McDonald sent packing, only to be claimed by the rival Yankees and with the trade deadline just over three weeks away, Ben Cherington is fielding calls on what his plans are going to be when both Ellsbury and Crawford return.
According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, Cherington is informing teams that he plans on keeping Cody Ross. Daniel Nava and Ryan Sweeney however are expected to be fair game in what could be a busy few weeks for the rookie Red Sox GM.
We’ve already heard that Scott Podsednik has both the Marlins and Nationals interested when he returns from injury and both Nava and Sweeney could soon find potential suitors calling Yakwey Way about their services.
Providing both Ellsbury and Crawford can return to their game changing form, the Boston outfield could consist of the aforementioned two alongside Ross, who has won a World Series with the Giants. Not a bad trio to have patrolling Fenway Park’s outfield.
Ross is the most attractive of the current outfielders given his .934 OPS average and 12 long balls. Knobler reports that the Rangers are said to be looking to add a right-handed hitter and Ross would fill their needs. We’ve learnt from the past that everyone has a price and maybe Ross could be had for a package that Cherington would be foolish to turn down.
Nava, 29-years of age likely won’t warrant a big return, but if packaged with a high level prospect, that could attract teams in need of outfield help or those looking to unload a pitcher or two. While starting pitching appears to be the most crucial area in need of mending for the Red Sox, it’s going to take more than Nava and a Jose Iglesias type player to lure Cole Hamels or Matt Garza away from their respective clubs.
The same can be said for Sweeney who doesn’t hit for a lot of power but has swung a nice bat while in Boston a midst his re-occurring injuries.
Should all Nava, Sweeney and Podsednik all get dealt that would leave Ellsbury, Crawford, Ross and Ryan Kalish to stay healthy for the rest of the year. Che-Hsuan Lin and Lars Anderson can play the outfield but lack the resume that any of the current regulars boast.
Suddenly what was an abundance of outfielders could become a scarce roster of big league experience, all while we hold our breath that no one gets hurt.