Red Sox outfield continues to struggle


Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Jonny Gomes currently owns the Red Sox outfield triple crown just over two months into the season. Not including Shane Victorino’s lofty .242 average in 91 at-bats, Gomes’ .231 average, five dingers, and 23 RBI is enough to take home the hardware for the worst outfield in the MLB.

From left field to right field, the Sox rank 22nd, 29th, and 30th in the MLB in OPS. Last season, they ranked 3rd, 9th, and 11th in those positions respectively. So what does this mean for the Red Sox and their chances at a repeat? It means that the infield needs to drastically improve or there needs to be some personnel changes.

The Red Sox have plenty of prospects to offer in a trade if they come to the realization that they don’t currently have a playoff-caliber outfield. They recently moved Mookie Betts to the outfield after realizing Dustin Pedroia is locked up at second base through 2021 and have plenty of other infield prospects that could make an impact at the major league level in the next year or two.

As I watch Jackie Bradley Jr. strikeout with men on second and third, I wonder why the Red Sox are sticking with him in center field. He provides the defense, of course, but has been a hole in the Sox lineup. He doesn’t appear to be the next Jacoby Ellsbury and if they are willing to stick with him for his defense, there needs to be somebody in left or right field that can swing a bat.

There are plenty of cheap options that will be available at the deadline that will be a minor upgrade. Guys like Chris Denorfia and Carlos Quentin of the Padres have been rumored and would add some offense. Also, Pedroia’s buddy Andre Ethier could be moved due to the Dodgers’ slew of outfield stars. Ethier’s best years are behind him though and he has a decent sized contract on his hands.

My dream and many others’  is to get Giancarlo Stanton in a Red Sox uniform. Yes, we know that Miami is somehow holding up in the NL East somehow, despite losing Jose Fernandez for the year. Are they going to be in the playoffs? I don’t even think the Marlins themselves believe that. The Marlins have had a knack for sending off their best players (Miguel Cabrera, Hanley Ramirez, etc.) and almost traded Stanton to the Sox years earlier in a three-team deal involving Manny Ramirez.

In return for Stanton, the Marlins would need a few of the team’s top prospects and a couple major league players, such as Will Middlebrooks or Mike Carp. Maybe if the Sox look back five years down the road and see that all the prospects they sent off turned out to be all-stars, they might regret it. In reality, not every top prospect pans out. Stanton already has though and would be the next power hitting left fielder in Boston for years to come.

Obviously, the chances of this trade happening are slim. Maybe we will have to wait for him to hit the free agent market after the 2016 season. Other than Stanton though, the Red Sox may just have to resort to some minor rentals to get the job done. Will it be exciting? No, but it might be enough for another playoff run in a few months.