3 things Boston Red Sox need to do now that the MLB lockout is over

Matt Barnes #32 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Matt Barnes #32 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox
Danny Santana #22, Alex Verdugo #99, and Hunter Renfroe #10 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox offseason to-do list item No. 2: Find a starting caliber replacement for Hunter Renfroe

Boston has a gaping hole in their outfield as a result of the Hunter Renfroe trade mentioned earlier. Having Jackie Bradley Jr.’s glove back is nice, but Bradley hit .163 last season. He’s not a starting caliber outfielder at this stage of his career, and it’s clear the front office needs to get one before free agency closes if they want to make playoffs again this season.

The good news is that there are still some solid outfielders available of the free agent market. Nick Castellanos and Michael Conforto are two of the top names who are still available, and you could conceivably pursue a guy like Schwarber or Kris Bryant and sacrifice some defensive productivity for another solid bat in the lineup. And with Bradley on the bench as a late innings defensive replacement, that wouldn’t necessarily be the worse idea possible.

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Another outside-the-box candidate is Seiya Suzuki, who is making the jump from Japan to the MLB. There were rumors a couple months back that Suzuki had a deal in place with the Red Sox that would see him sign with Boston once the lockout ended. There were also reports saying he hadn’t made his decision yet that came out shortly after. Either way, Suzuki would be a perfect replacement for Renfroe in right field.

Player’s like Castellanos and Bryant are probably going to be more expensive than Conforto, Schwarber, and Suzuki. Suzuki would be the biggest risk, but he has shown the potential to be a true five-tool player while in Japan, and if he can play like that in the majors, that would be a huge game changer for whichever team he ends up on.

As of right now, it seems like either Suzuki or Schwarber would be the most likely addition to the outfield group, and that’s not saying much. Schwarber’s market has expanded significantly thanks to the addition of a universal designated hitter, and Suzuki’s status is very much up in the air. Either way, Boston has to bring in another outfielder, and they would be wise to choose from this list of five guys to fill that need.