Jul 27, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino (18) at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Victorino is the player on this list who likely fits best into Boston’s plans for the 2015 season. Given his excellent defense and ability to play all three positions, he would be an ideal fourth outfielder for the Red Sox and does not require any contract commitment beyond this season.
However, Victorino has spoken against a fourth outfielder role, stating that he fully expects to earn the job of starting right fielder (a statement that just doesn’t seem realistic with the presence of Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo on the roster). And in all fairness, he is qualified to be a starting right fielder for a major league team if he’s at full strength. However, the question, as always with Victorino, is whether or not he is fully healthy and, perhaps more importantly, whether he can maintain health over a full season.
In his first season in Boston in 2013, Victorino slashed .294/.351/.451 with Gold Glove defense and was a key cog on the World Championship team. However, last year he played in only 30 games for the Red Sox and slashed a mere .268/.303/.382 in a lost season for the Flyin’ Hawaiian. It’s a question of which Victorino will show up for spring training 2015 and, either way, the Red Sox might be wise to part ways with him.