First baseman/outfielder Allen Craig is perhaps the most interesting trade chip that the Boston Red Sox have left on their current roster. While the 30-year old’s 2014 numbers don’t seem to give him much trade value, Craig’s overall career stats seem to warrant a mulligan. After coming to Boston in July of last season, Craig was in the midst of his worst season in the majors. While still dealing with a nagging foot injury, the former eighth round selection finished the year with a dreadful .215/.279/.315 slash. Prior to 2014, however, Craig amassed a .312/.364/.500 line from 2010-2013, and was a cog in the middle of the Cardinals order. Since Boston missed the postseason last year, Craig will enter 2015 with a full offseason of rest, making him a strong comeback candidate. So far this winter, Boston has received a few hits on the 30-year old from teams like the Miami Marlins and the Milwaukee Brewers, but pinpointing Craig’s value isn’t easy. Although his number suggest a bounce back season, the Red Sox would be selling low on Craig. While he’s still under contract for four more seasons, Craig is guaranteed $25.5M, which would make him an expensive gamble. Therefore with so many things working against him, the Red Sox might be better off holding on to Craig and using him on their bench. By keeping Craig in the fold, Boston could use him to spell Mike Napoli or one of the corner outfielders — although I’d keep him away from right field. Furthermore, Craig would be excellent insurance to have if and when an injury occurs to one of the afore mentioned positions. Of course, retaining Craig would mean that Boston would need to deal either Shane Victorino or Daniel Nava, which could be tough in its own regard.
- It took some five months to complete, but the Felix Doubront trade is now officially in the books. Boston sent the 27-year old left hander to the Chicago Cubs in July of last season, in exchange for a player to be named later. On Monday, the Red Sox announced that they have acquired minor league shortstop Marco Hernandez to complete the mid season swap. (Red Sox receive shortstop Marco Hernandez from Cubs to complete Felix Doubront trade)
- After being shipped from the Red Sox to the Athletics in July of last season, Jon Lester wasn’t sure how he would adapt to a brand new environment. However upon arriving in Oakland, the southpaw didn’t miss a beat and lead the A’s staff into the postseason. In overcoming this challenge, Lester proved to himself that he could perform in cities other than Boston. Therefore, when the 30-year old hit free agency he didn’t feel inclined to run back to Boston. (Jon Lester found decision to leave Boston easier after trade)
- Trading for Jordan Zimmerman would certainly solve the Red Sox problem atop the rotation, but the price tag on the right hander remains steep. Zimmermann, who is coming off his best season in the majors, will cost Boston — or any team for that matter — a haul of top prospects. However, with just one year left one his current deal, jeopardizing the farm system in exchange for the 28-year old wouldn’t be a wise move. (What would a Jordan Zimmermann trade cost the Red Sox)
- Instead of shelling out $150M or so to retain Jon Lester, the Red Sox put all their eggs in the depth basket. While Wade Miley isn’t exactly an alternative to Lester, he, along with Justin Masterson and Rick Porcello, signifies Boston’s commitment to building a deep rotation. In Miley, the Red Sox obtained a controllable innings eater, with a lot of upside. (Miley trade demonstrates Red Sox commitment to depth over stars)
- Tweet of the day: Papi is (still) the best.