Brian McCann would solve the Red Sox catching woes.
The Boston Red Sox are battling through their first real slump of the 2013 season.
One thing the slump has shown is that despite early season success, the Red Sox have deficiencies they need to address.
If Red Sox management thinks that this team has a chance to truly contend for the entire season, then it must contemplate adding to the major league roster.
Ben Cherington made moves last year to unload long-term salary obligations in addition to changing the dynamic in the clubhouse.
Now, less than a year later, Cherington has a much tougher job in trying to find players that can help in 2013, but won’t derail his long-term plan.
Here are five players that could help the Red Sox in 2013, but won’t disrupt the future plans for the organization.
Brian McCann provides an upgrade behind the plate.
The Red Sox need to find an upgrade at the catching position.
David Ross seems to have been a decent signing as a leader and a veteran that can handle the pitching staff, but he isn’t hitting with consistency and Jarrod Saltalamacchia is regressing and continues to strike out at an alarming rate.
Brian McCann, even though he has battled injuries, would be a significant upgrade over Saltalamacchia both in plate approach and potential. McCann has a career .279 average and.351 OBP versus Salty’s .239 average and .303 OBP.
McCann is a free agent in the offseason, but so is Saltalamacchia. If the Red Sox trade for McCann and like what they see, I could see them signing him to an extension so they don’t lose out on prospects for a rental player.
Josh Willingham is a power bat capable of playing solid outfield defense.
The Red Sox need to add depth in the outfield and with the potential that Jacoby Ellsbury is traded, that need could become even greater.
Josh Willingham could come in and play either corner outfield spot and has a power swing from the right side of the plate that would fit well at Fenway Park.
Even if Ellsbury doesn’t get traded, Willingham has a year left on his deal and would allow the Red Sox to slide Shane Victorino over to center if they don’t think Jackie Bradley Jr. is ready for the responsibility.
At 28 years old, Melky Cabrera could be a long-term solution in the outfield.
It seems like Melky Cabrera should be well into his thirties, but since he broke into the majors at 20 years old, he is only 28 while already in his ninth full season.
Toronto may be looking to make a shakeup after its major offseason overhaul seems to have failed.
If Cabrera is available and Toronto is willing to trade within the division, then Cabrera could help the Red Sox in both the short term and long term.
Cabrera is a versatile player capable at playing all three outfield positions, but he is at his best when he plays left field.
Jesse Crain is the power arm that could help during a playoff push.
As evident by the early season injuries the Red Sox bullpen endured, you can never have too many quality relievers.
Crain could become available if the White Sox continue to struggle and he would be a valuable pickup for the stretch run.
Justin Morneau still has plenty of treads on his tires.
The Minnesota Twins are idling in the middle of the AL Central right now, but if they start to struggle, they may look to sell some of their assets.
Justin Morneau is the most likely trade candidate, but the bigger move could be moving Joe Mauer and his long-term contract.
Both players would provide an upgrade defensively at first base and catcher, but they also bring questions. If you were to trade for one or both, Mike Napoli’s role is lessened.
However, depending on the price, the Red Sox would be selling the team short if they didn’t at least make an offer for one or both of the Twins’ stars.