Red Sox, OF Trade Seems Inevitable

4 of 7

Aug 24, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Allen Craig (5) at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Allen Craig

Can’t the poor man catch a break, lately?

After being drafted in the eighth round of the 2006 MLB draft, Craig worked his way up and debuted for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2010. The righty from Mission Viejo, California played so well for them that he earned all-star status in 2013 and signed a deal which locked him up until 2017 for $31 million with a $13 million team option for 2018.

Life was great for Craig … until 2014. Poor play and an injury made the Cardinals decide to trade him with starting pitcher Joe Kelly to the Red Sox for John Lackey and minor leaguer Corey Littrell. Craig’s new scenery in Boston did not change his fortunes. He hit just .128, with a .234 OBP and a .191 SLG, in 94 at-bats. This total came from a man who once hit 13 home runs and 97 RBIs, with a .457 SLG, the year before.

Defensively, Craig can play multiple positions, including left and right field, but his offensive play will be the determining factor. He likely will be shut out of any starting positions for the Red Sox, as the 30-year-old has younger players in front of him, who showed better play than him, last season. If Boston wants to trade him, which seems likely, they will need to play Craig a fair amount in spring training to demonstrate that his skills are back to trade-bait quality.