Boston Red Sox left field carousel
Left field is traditionally a spot that teams look to add a power bat, which certainly isn’t the profile that Holt fits. Young has power, but should be used exclusively against lefties. Castillo is starting to look like a career backup. So where to the Red Sox turn to for a solution to their left field problem?
They could go the free agent route, but the list of available left fielders on the market next winter isn’t all that appealing. Cespedes has the opportunity to opt-out of his contract after this season and the new front office may have more interest in him than the old regime that let him go. After all, it was Dave Dombrowski that signed him when he was the GM of the Detroit Tigers in 2015.
Jose Bautista could be an option if the Red Sox are eager for a power bat to replace David Ortiz in the middle of the lineup. He has primarily been a right fielder by trade, but spent time in left earlier in his career. They could also consider shifting Mookie Betts to left to let Bautista take over in right. Only problem with that plan is that Bautista will be 36 when he hits the market, trending toward becoming a full-time DH, and will of course be very expensive.
Free agency simply doesn’t have anyone young and talented enough to become the long-term solution in left field. They could explore the trade market, but it’s a bit early to start predicting which teams will make an impact player available in the offseason.
Part of the problem is that left field isn’t all that deep these days. Last season only eight major league left fielders produced at least 3.0 WAR, while only 12 were above 2.0 WAR. That’s not enough to fill even half the teams in the majors with a quality left fielder capable of being an everyday starter.
Next: The answer could come internally