With Crawford missing the first half of the 2012 season due to injury, Cody Ross spent the majority of his only season in Boston replacing him in left until Crawford returned in July. About a month later, Crawford was sent to the Dodgers in a blockbuster deal that helped Boston shed a quarter of a billion dollars in payroll.
2013 gave us our first glimpse of Jackie Bradley, Jr. His defensive wizardry convinced the Red Sox to give him the left field job to start the season, but he was demoted after hitting .097 in April and spent the next few seasons riding the shuttle between Boston and Pawtucket. It took until late last season for Bradley to finally prove himself enough to lock in a roster spot, but he is now the team’s everyday center fielder.
Jonny Gomes ended up seeing the bulk of the time in left that season. While he played a key role in delivering a World Series title, he was never the solution. His biggest contribution was the chemistry he brought to a clubhouse that desperately needed a makeover in the wake of the toxic Bobby Valentine season. His production was more in line with that of a fourth outfielder, best served in a platoon role.