BOSTON — The Red Sox parted ways Monday with another pillar of their 2013 World Series championship team, trading outfielder Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Angels.
Manager John Farrell spent a large portion of his postgame news conference that night discussing just how important Victorino was to that title-winning squad.
“Unfortunately, the trade signifies a player that helped us win a World Series two years ago, and when you take one of those players off this roster, you’re kind of building toward the future,” Farrell said after Boston’s 10-8 loss to the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. “And that’s disappointing. We’ll miss Vic. Vic went through a lot of physical challenges here, and yet every time he was on the field, he gave everything he had. I’ll miss him personally, but he’s got a chance to go to a contender.”
2013 arguably was the best season of Victorino’s career. He posted a .294/.351/.451 slash line with 15 home runs, 61 RBIs and a 6.1 WAR that ranked fourth among all major league outfielders — all while playing Gold Glove defense and providing two of the biggest hits of the Red Sox’s playoff run.
Without Victorino, Farrell agreed, that championship would not have been possible.
“No,” Farrell said. “And I think you’d say that probably about a number of players. But Shane was a vital cog in our offense, certainly a Gold Glove defender in right field — arguably played right field here as well as anyone that’s every worn a uniform. He brought energy every day and (was) a very instinctual player. He was a main reason we won that World Series.”
Victorino was unable to replicate his 2013 success in either of the last two seasons, appearing in just 63 total games as he bounced on and off the disabled list. As the July 31 trade deadline drew closer, his name frequently came up in rumors.
Still, the trade hit Victorino hard, as evidenced by the tearful goodbye he gave to the Red Sox organization and fans Monday night. He expressed excitement about joining the Angels, one of the American League’s best teams, but reluctance to leave behind the memories and relationships forged during his two-plus years in Boston.
“He was disappointed,” Farrell said. “He didn’t want to leave in general, and yet leaving — the one thing about Vic, whether in Philadelphia, he became very attached to Philadelphia. In similar ways, he felt very attached to Boston. He’s a unique player in that sense, in that he feels a bond to the city in which he plays. He gives his heart and soul when he walks on the field. He takes a lot of pride in the uniform he wears for a particular city. And that was the case here in the Red Sox uniform.”
Thumbnail photo via Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports Images