The Red Sox could begin the 2014 Major League Baseball season tomorrow and they’d be in great shape. The core of Boston’s major league roster is intact, so it’s simply a matter of general manager Ben Cherington doing some fine-tuning before Opening Day.
The biggest questions the Red Sox currently face involve free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew, who still could re-sign with Boston, and the club’s starting rotation, which features six viable major league starters. There also is a question as to whether the Red Sox will consider adding some more outfield depth, as MassLive.com reported last week that Boston was exploring non-roster options before spring training.
The Red Sox are expected to begin the season with Jackie Bradley Jr. filling Jacoby Ellsbury‘s shoes in center field. That’s a tall task for a 23-year-old, so adding to an outfield mix that already includes Bradley, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes, Daniel Nava and Mike Carp isn’t a bad idea. The problem is that the free-agent market is rather thin.
Ideally, the Red Sox would add a right-handed hitter capable of playing center field. Such a player would provide insurance in the event that Bradley struggles or the injury bug bites. The Red Sox reportedly called the Padres about outfielder Chris Denorfia, but it appears that San Diego is unwilling to deal him at this point.
So, which outfielders are available in free agency? Well, it’s essentially an island of misfit toys, especially in regards to the Red Sox’ needs. That doesn’t mean the market isn’t worth exploring, though, so here are 10 free-agent outfielders who the Red Sox could pursue before spring training.