Sep 1, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Allen Craig (5) throws the ball against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Craig came to Boston with starting pitcher Joe Kelly as a part of the John Lackey trade on last year’s trade deadline and he didn’t do too much to endear himself to the Fenway faithful. Already in the midst of a disappointing season in St. Louis (Craig had hit .237/.291/.346 across 97 games with the Cardinals), Craig bounced between the Red Sox and the disabled list with disappointing results over the final two months of the year, slashing a meager .128/.234/.191 in 29 games.
It’s unclear just how much of Craig’s miserable 2014 season can be attributed to a Lisfranc injury, which sidelined him for a month in 2013 and hampered his performance in the postseason. However, that injury was certainly a factor as his 2014 numbers were a far cry from his previous performance, as he slashed .312/.364/.500 from 2011-2013.
The thought that Craig could return, or at least approach, that former success could make him an attractive player going forward. Even if he does revitalize his career, however, there’s just nowhere for him to play with the Red Sox. First base, left field, and right field are all locked up for the 2015 season and Craig appears destined for some sort of utility role. Now that would be a fantastic role for a player of his caliber if he’s healthy; however, the Red Sox might be looking to get more return on their investment and trading him for some young talent would be an excellent way of cashing in on a healthy, productive spring.