Boston Red Sox Free Agent Target: Outfielder Chris Young


The Boston Red Sox outfield seems to be pretty much set for 2016. With Jackie Bradley, Jr., Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo, this is the one area on the BoSox roster that does not need improvement. They are all young, athletic, and full of potential. And, with utility man Brock Holt also able to help in center and right, it seems as though not much change is needed in order to be ready for next season.

Think again. Last week, during an interview on WEEI’s Hot Stove, Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski mentioned that he is looking for a veteran right-handed batter to serve as the backup outfielder next year. Then, on Monday, MLB columnist from USA Today Sports Bob Nightengale mentioned on twitter that the Sox are interested in free agent outfielder Chris Young.

And guess what? Young is a right handed hitter. Interestingly enough, this is not the first time the BoSox have expressed their interest in Young. After the 2013 season, the Sox were looking for some fallback options after concluding that it would be unlikely that Jacoby Ellsbury would be returning to Boston for the 2014 season. Young’s name was tossed around as a backup choice per Jerry Crasnick of Ultimately, the Red Sox decided to promote Bradley to full time center fielder.

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However, Young is back in the picture and could be a good fit for the Red Sox. First off, he would be a cheap option for a backup outfielder. He only made $2.5 million in 2015 and his performance this year does not warrant a huge salary increase. Secondly, even though his bat does not earn him an everyday starting role, Young can provide some pop at the plate especially against left handed pitchers. This season he batted .327 with a .972 OPS against lefties. Lastly, Young’s defensive skills are quite good especially in center and left field.

Even though Young would not be a starting outfielder if the Red Sox were able to sign him, he could be a great veteran presence for the less experienced players who will be the starters in right, center, and left next season. Of the three players predicted to start in the outfield next season – Bradley, Betts, and Castillo, Bradley has the most MLB playing experience with just two years under his belt. Young has been playing in the Majors for nine years with four different organizations. He could bring some useful tips and tricks to help out these youngsters.

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By adding someone like Young, this would mean that Holt and other utility players would not get as much, if any, fielding time in the outfield. However, it is important to note that not all of these utility men are outfielder by trade. Young is a true outfielder who has played in all three positions throughout his entire MLB career. Young would provide solid backup help while also taking on the larger role of actually mentoring these young but potential star outfielders. He would be a good pickup for the Boston Red Sox if they truly are looking to add a veteran right-handed batting outfielder to their roster.