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MLB Free Agents 2013: Why Shane Victorino Is Likely to Land in the AL East

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 28:  Shane Victorino #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his three run homerun for a 4-0 lead with Manager Don Mattingly #88 against the Colorado Rockies during the second inning at Dodger Stadium on September 28, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Jon ReidCorrespondent IIDecember 4, 2012

It's Day 2 of the MLB Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn. and rumors continue to swirl, all while free agents are scooped up off the market (see Dan Haren to Washington via USA Today).

One of this winter's top targets is outfielder Shane Victorino, who has as many as seven suitors according to Jon Heyman of cbssports.com.

Of those seven teams, almost half of them reside in the AL East division (those being the Tampa Bay Rays, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees).

All three of these teams are either contenders or a few pieces from being contenders, and the Yankees and Red Sox have the money to spend (though both teams are saying they're going to be slightly more conservative than they have been in years past).

With the Rays recently losing B.J. Upton to the Braves, the Red Sox having major holes in their outfield and the Yankees having lost Nick Swisher to the free-agent market, one can see why Shane Victorino should be heavily favored to land somewhere amongst those three AL East teams.

Victorino may be a center fielder, but he is willing to play corner outfield positions as he has done so in the past.

As a switch-hitter he'd fit in well at Yankee Stadium and Fenway hitting from the left side, as both of those parks have short right field fences.

In Tampa he'd be able to play the position he prefers and would still be joining a competitive team, with one of the best sluggers hitting behind him and one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball.

The Red Sox reportedly talking to Nick Swisher, according to this tweet from Jon Heyman:

 

#redsox talking to swisher now. A possibility.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 3, 2012

 

We could see the Yankees and Tampa Bay turn the heat up on their efforts to sign an outfielder of their own to match Boston's move.

Should the Nick Swisher talks prove to be unsuccessful, Shane Victorino would be the next logical choice for the Sox, seeing as Michael Bourn would probably only play center field, a position the Sox already have filled with youngster Jacoby Ellsbury.

With the intense competition in the AL East being so stiff (especially with the Toronto Blue Jays now being legitimate contenders), each of the three clubs has an increased incentive to outbid their division rivals and pick up the Flyin' Hawaiian.

Expect to see Victorino with one of those AL East clubs in 2013.

 

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