The Red Sox announced that prized outfield free-agent acquisition Rusney Castillo will be sent down to the minors, after signing a 7-year contract this offseason.
Thinking along the same lines as the Kris Bryant situation, I was intrigued to see what the Red Sox were willing to do with their crowded and talented outfield also. They seem stacked with talent out on the grass, but the lack of minor league options left the future look murky.
Personally, no offense to Victorino, but I would have loved to see him packaged with a low-end prospect to get our hands on some younger relief or starting pitching.
Teams like the Mets seem eager to ditch some pitching and the Red Sox could use the extra hands. Dillon Gee was a name thrown around early and seems to make sense to add to a particularly unspectacular starting rotation.
For the record, I am still fully against dishing our “high end” prospects on a guy like Cole Hamels; however, the concept of adding one more proven arm to the mix sounds like a winning idea.
Victorino is still a massive question mark anyway. He is batting below .200 Although the best baseball bats are always for him and is still recovering from a back surgery in the offseason, which only makes me more skeptical that he can make an impact for more than ½ a season. I don’t know what he may have said to ownership to get him so much faith, but as a fan, I’m starting to lose it.
At his best, Victorino is a post-season contributor. He is dangerous on the base paths and can pepper the wall when he wants, but then why did we spend so much money to have to best outfield at the AAA level? Castillo joins defensive juggernaut JBJ and our other decent prospect Bryce Brentz to… well, I’m not sure exactly.
If the Red Sox’ goal is to win every AAA game, then they have definitely shown that they have the pockets to do so.
What was spring training but a reason to showcase some talent?
Allen Craig is a starter on a lot of teams, despite having a horrible end of last season, so why didn’t we move him?
His salary is slightly higher than most teams would take on, but if the outfield is so crowded, then why bother keeping him?
Nava is out of minor league options and carries a left-handed bat to bring to the bench that the Red Sox could greatly use, so he is valuable to the team.
Mookie locked down center field, and there’s no surprise that Hanley won left field, so why in the world are we taking a shot on a rehab starter?
Castillo is supposed to be the future of our outfield, no matter where he ends up playing, but he’s not a 19-year old prospect like Kris Bryant. Castillo is 27, and showed up in a big way this spring, putting up José Abreu numbers. At a similar age as Abreu, how long is that window open? If Victorino is out of minor league options, then he is just the odd man out in a system that is a little too stacked on the grass.
In short, out with Victorino, in with Castillo. If there was ever a time to cash in on a hot bat, its when the lineup includes Hanley, Pablo, Ortiz, Napoli, Pedrioa, and Betts.