boston red sox outfielders glut hanley ramirez yoenis cespedes
If the Red Sox are really signing Pablo Sandoval, they’ll have eight outfielders with reasonable claims on significant playing time. Which is really interesting. But isn’t it nearly as interesting if they don’t sign Pablo Sandoval? And have seven outfielders?
If they don’t sign Panda, Hanley Ramirez can play third base instead of left field. But again, that still leaves seven outfielders: Yoenis Cespedes, Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig, Shane Victorino, Daniel Nava, Jackie Bradley.
Now, my friend Matthew Kory suggests that some of those surplus outfielders will be traded for pitching, since the Red Sox obviously have an outfielding surplus and a pitching deficit. I think Matthew is right. I just wonder what kind of pitching the Red Sox can get. Among those seven outfielders, only the first three have any real value at this point, as the latter four all failed to hit this year. Meanwhile, Betts and Castillo have 253 plate appearances between them, while Cespedes has just one year left on his contract and reportedly isn’t beloved by his coaches. So while you might reasonably argue that the Red Sox have too many outfielders, you might just as reasonably argue that they don’t have enough good outfielders.
Which would help explain why they’re interested in Pablo Sandoval.
What it doesn’t explain is why management seems so enthusiastic about revisiting a policy that was repudiated just a couple of years ago.