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Boston Red Sox: Is It Their Turn to Pilfer the L.A. Dodgers?

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Boston Red Sox: Is It Their Turn to Pilfer the L.A. Dodgers?
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In the middle of the 2012 season, the Boston Red Sox dumped Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto on the Los Angeles Dodgers in return for James Loney and a few no-name players.

This offseason, many Dodgers players become free agents, and the Red Sox have cash to burn and rebuilding to do.

Here is a trio of men in Dodger blue who the Red Sox should look at signing.

Joe Blanton

Boston’s starters combined for a 48-72 record and a 5.19 ERA.  They needed help even before they dealt Beckett.  

Joe Blanton wasn’t particularly hot last season (10-13, 4.71 ERA, 1.26 WHIP), but if you put his numbers on the Sox, he’d have been third in ERA, wins and pitch count. 

Blanton isn't the greatest pitcher on the market in 2013, but he's certainly a better option than John Lackey or Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Brandon League

With 22 blown saves and a 3.88 ERA, the Red Sox bullpen wasn’t too great either. 

Their primary closer, Alfredo Aceves, had ten relief losses and an ERA north of 5.00.  Even with Andrew Bailey and Daniel Bard back from injuries (but not mediocrity), they need another guy. 

One option is Dodgers’ midseason acquisition, Brandon League.

Which Dodger should the Sox grab for 2013?

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The 30-year-old League (an All-Star in 2011) makes sense if you’re looking for a veteran pitcher with closing experience.  In the past two seasons, he’s notched 52 saves with a 2.97 ERA.     

Shane Victorino 

The Red Sox need another bat, and more importantly another set of legs.  They were one of 11 MLB teams to steal fewer than 100 bases, despite the fact that they had over 100 errors in fielding.  They were only average in at-bats per homer, but were 20th in defensive efficiency.   

And don’t even get me started on the Red Sox outfield. 

Carl Crawford and Scott Posednik are gone. 

When compared to the league as a whole, their OPS at left field and right field were in the lower quartiles and their OPS at center field was 27th in the majors. 

Their main left fielder, call-up Daniel Nava, batted just .243 with only six dingers in 88 games.   Assuming they lose out on the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes, they ought to throw money at Victorino.

Two-time All-Star Shane Victorino is a five-tool player, plus fielding.  He has won three Gold Gloves, while committing just 10 errors in 1,002 games in the outfield.   He scores 3 more runs a season as a result of his baserunning than the average player, while saving 5 runs a season as a result of his fielding. 

He has a career .770 OPS, while stealing 30 or more bases in four of the last six seasons.  And he’s not awful at the plate either, with an offensive WAR of about 2.5 per season.

The one drawback to Victorino: he’s a slightly worse, older version of Jacoby Ellsbury, who the Sox have locked up for awhile.

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