MLB Free Agency: What Adding Shane Victorino Could Mean to the Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has certainly proven himself this winter as being a man of discipline.
Well, thus far anyway.
In signing David Ross, Jonny Gomes and Mike Napoli there has been one consistent theme: overpay for shorter contracts while filling a need.
The Red Sox gave free agent catcher Ross two years and $6.2 million to be a back up; or so it seems.
They followed that move up by signing Gomes to a two-year $10 million contract, which had some fans scratching their heads. For all intents and purposes, Gomes will likely be a fourth outfielder. Many fans have been clamoring to Boston sports radio, calling for the team to bring back Cody Ross.
By adding Mike Napoli to the mix, once again the team likely overpaid, giving him a three-year deal worth $39 million. However, as Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports had reported, Napoli wanted four years.
By overpaying Napoli, they got the player they wanted at the length of contract in which they're comfortable.
Now, according to a tweet by The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo, the Red Sox are the front runners for Shane Victorino.
Red Sox front runners on Shane Victorino. Offered three year $38 mill deal.— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) December 4, 2012
Should the Red Sox land Victorino, they'll be getting exactly the type of player Cherington has been looking for: a right fielder that can play some center field—once again according to Cafardo, per his Extra Bases Blog.
The Red Sox would be gaining a switch-hitting outfielder with three Gold Glove Awards to his name.
While fans may be quick to point to his off-year in 2012, there are several facets to his game that cannot be overlooked.
Obviously, he is a solid defensive player. Having a weaker defender at first creates a need for a strong right fielder. This is exactly what the team is looking at with Victorino and Napoli on the right side of the field.
In addition, it gives the team another bat at the top of the order with solid speed. He stole 39 bases last season and has swiped 30 or more bags four times in his career.
Additionally, Victorino led the National League twice in triples with 13 in 2009 and 16 in 2011 while hitting seven last season.
With the money that has come off the books for this team, the Red Sox are slowly putting together a solid team with good clubhouse guys on short-term deals.
In other words, the exact opposite of what the Boston Red Sox have been for so many years.
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